Frequently Asked Questions
Everything you need
Choosing a memorial for you and your family is an important decision. We’ve tried to answer all of the common questions we receive below but if there are any additional questions that you don’t see answered here, please let us know.
It’s our goal to be completely transparent when it comes to our timelines, pricing, and memorial options. We also love to discuss Better Place Forests so please feel free to reach out at any time.
(Scroll down to see frequently asked questions.)
What does Better Place Forests offer me?
Better Place Forests creates beautiful, landscaped forest settings where ashes are spread at the base of trees which are reserved for families.
If you are choosing cremation and want a beautiful, landscaped location where your family can visit and you can be remembered, Better Place Forests is an option for you.
Why is this different from spreading ashes on my own?
When you choose Better Place Forests you creating a multi-generational memorial where your family can always return to visit.
You get the peace of mind of knowing that the forest will never be redeveloped and that your private spreading area will be reserved for your family forever.
Many families consider public parks or private property for their spreading, but choose Better Place Forests because they want to know that they are creating a legacy and that their place will always be private and protected.
What will the forest be like to visit?
Our priority is to create the ideal setting for visiting the memorial of someone you love. The park will be a landscaped, maintained forest with paths, benches, a visitor center and restrooms.
Our vision is that every person who visits our Mendocino Spreading Forest will be amazed at the peaceful, serene and beautiful setting. And that it will serve as a fitting location for people to truly remember their family members that have died.
What is the spreading ceremony?
Returning to the earth is important to many people who choose Better Place Forests.
While ashes are inert, they are slightly more alkaline than soil. Before ashes are spread, we renaturalize them by mixing them with local soil and a soil acidifier to match the pH balance of the soil surrounding the tree.
The ashes are then spread into the topsoil in a specific location around the tree which is recorded for family members to visit.
Do you offer payment plans?
It’s our goal to make Better Place Forests affordable to everyone who would like to create a family memorial. We offer custom payment plans that work with your budget.
Can I transfer my tree to one of your newer locations?
Absolutely. If you decide you would prefer any of the other spreading forest locations we open up, you can transfer your memorial to that location with a full credit of the value.
If you have made a deposit to secure our Design Phase pricing, your discount will still apply to the new location.
Where is our first forest located?
Our first spreading forest is located in Mendocino County (about 2.5 hours north of San Francisco) and is a beautiful redwood forest with views of the Pacific. We have chosen this forest because of it’s natural beauty and proximity to the Bay Area.
Are my pets allowed in my family memorial?
Yes! We’re a mix of dog and cat people and your pets ashes are allowed in your family tree.
Are you opening spreading forests in other locations?
Yes. We’re planning on opening additional spreading forests throughout California within the next 2-3 years.
All reservations made with us now are transferrable to any other spreading forest we open. Transfers will receive a credit for the full value of their tree.
Why did you start Better Place Forests?
We started Better Place Forests because of our own desire to create a memorial for our families that we would want to visit.
What types of trees exist in the forest?
In our first Forest Cemetery in Mendocino County, we have a mix of fir, pine, tanoak and redwood trees with varying numbers of each. We are currently in the process of cataloguing every tree on the property to know how many of each will be offered.
What will the memorial markers look like?
The goal of our visitor experience is for everyone to feel completely surrounded by a beautiful, natural redwood forest.
This means that memorial markers will be made to be small, tasteful and placed at ground level.
Is the land privately owned?
Yes. The land is privately owned and we landscape and maintain the forest. This means the land is protected and visitable.
Can I schedule a visit?
Soon! If you sign up to our mailing list you will be notified as soon as we start to offer visits.
Better Place is based out of San Francisco and committed to creating sustainable, cremation-only spreading forests.
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At Better Place Forests our mission is to provide every person and family the opportunity to leave the legacy of a more beautiful world.
We do this by memorializing your ashes in protected nature reserves in the most iconic locations in America.