SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Better Place Forests, the company that built America’s first conservation memorial forests, is announcing its third location just north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Better Place Forests offers families who choose cremation a beautiful, private and permanently-protected place to return their ashes to the earth. Instead of tombstones, the company incorporates ashes into the base of beautiful trees in the most iconic locations in North America. Online tours, pre-sales and tree reservations are now available for Better Place Forests Flagstaff. The forest will be open for in-person tours, sales and spreading ceremonies starting next year. The company has already established two memorial forests in California, in Point Arena in Mendocino County and in Santa Cruz.
“Better Place Forests is inspiring thousands of families to choose a beautiful final resting place that is full of life while leaving a meaningful legacy for future generations. Every customer who selects Better Place Forests Flagstaff as their final resting place is helping to permanently protect and preserve this forest forever,” said Sandy Gibson, Co-Founder and CEO of Better Place Forests. “We’re thrilled to preserve this stunning forest and meet demand in Flagstaff, as we’ve had strong interest from more than 4,200 families in the greater Flagstaff area.”
Located in one of the most iconic locations in the American Southwest—just one hour from Sedona and the Grand Canyon—Better Place Forests Flagstaff boasts 160 acres of forestland that is fully ensconced by the Coconino National Forest. From stunning summer sunsets and meadows full of springtime wildflowers to a kaleidoscope of fall colors and snow-capped winter peaks, the forest offers beauty in every season. Customers will have their pick of approximately 20,000 trees comprised of four species: Quaking Aspens, Ponderosa Pines, Southwestern White Pine, and Douglas Firs.
Better Place Forests’ Community Commitments
Better Place Forests is excited to join the vibrant Flagstaff community. Initially, the Flagstaff Forest will create six new full-time jobs, which will be filled exclusively by local talent. The company is also collaborating with the Northern Arizona University (NAU) School of Forestry: in addition to providing an opportunity for its students to learn about preserving and managing forests in northern Arizona, Better Place Forests is proudly sponsoring the NAU Forestry Club.
"The NAU School of Forestry is thrilled to be a part of Better Place Forests' commitment to preserving and maintaining 160 acres of stunning forestland in Flagstaff," said Cheryl Miller, Centennial Forest Manager, NAU School of Forestry. "We're grateful for the company's contributions to the NAU Forestry community, including their sponsorship of the NAU Forestry Club and the rare opportunity for our students to conduct research on the property and assist with critical forest preservation efforts."
Better Place Forests has been working with Coconino County to determine the proper permitting path and recently initiated its outreach program to key local constituencies including, but not limited to, conservation groups, the Audubon Society, local Native American tribes, the University of Northern Arizona, the Arizona Historical Society and the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce.
“We look forward to collaborating with the local community to protect this inspiring forest which has been privately owned by the same family since 1959,” said Mark Forster, Head of Land at Better Place Forests. “While the zoning of this property allows for many different uses, including bed and breakfasts, group homes or single-family ranchettes, the owners sought a way to preserve this forest. We’re honored that Better Place Forests was entrusted to protect this land from development and make it accessible to the wider Flagstaff community.”
Created For A Culture in Flux
Thousands of families have already chosen private memorial trees in one of Better Place Forests’ existing locations, which were created to meet the needs of a culture in flux. Despite the expected growth in the cremation rate for baby boomers—from 51% today to 80% by 2035—there are very few desirable memorial options for people who choose cremation. The existing death care industry remains focused on pushing people towards more traditional products such as expensive caskets, urns, and crypts.
Better Place Forests is on a mission to change that. By reimagining the end of life experience and establishing memorial forests across the country, Better Place Forests is committed to giving people a more beautiful and meaningful final resting place that helps protect iconic forests.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the 2017 national median cost of a funeral with a viewing, burial and vault was $8,755. Memorial tree reservations at Better Place Forests Flagstaff start at $3,900 and include a customized memorial ceremony as well as the planting of Impact Trees to assist with critical reforestation efforts in Arizona.
To take a virtual tour, learn more about Better Place Forests, and reserve your own tree in Better Place Forests Flagstaff, visit betterplaceforests.com.
About Better Place Forests
Better Place Forests is creating a movement that’s removing the stigma around end-of-life planning. We’ve built America’s first memorial forests for people who choose cremation but do not have a beautiful, private and permanently-protected place to return their ashes to the earth. Instead of tombstones, we incorporate ashes into the base of beautiful trees in the most iconic locations in North America. Every customer who chooses a tree leaves a legacy by helping to protect that forest forever.
Since launching in 2015, we've helped thousands of people choose a beautiful resting place in one of our three forest locations and over 75,000 people have signed up to join our movement. Better Place Forests has been featured on The Today Show, in The New York Times and was recognized by Fast Company as a 2019 Innovation By Design award finalist. For more information, visit www.betterplaceforests.com.