Rest eternally among long leaf pines at Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve

July 28, 2016

Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve offers a natural setting in a long leaf pine restoration area. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve offers a natural setting in a long leaf pine restoration area. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

A subject not easily addressed is end of life burial decisions. Fortunately, there are several options outside of what once was considered the norm. Burial trends are shifting according to the National Funeral Directors Association, as more burials reflect consumer lifestyles returning to simplicity. One such choice on the rise is eco-friendly green burials. A green burial is defined as a natural return to the earth without embalming, using a biodegradable casket, or, no casket at all.

Located in the Glendale community in north Walton county, Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve offers the perfect resting place for those who choose to go green. Nestled in a restored long leaf pine forest, the Preserve offers a tranquil setting on 350 acres. The burial space offers an outside chapel pavilion perfect for small gatherings, along with a boardwalk overlooking lake Barbara. The Preserve also boasts fields, ponds, and creeks where one can meander in nature.

Headstone next to marker (behind sculpture).

At Preserve, each grave is surveyed with markers, brass at the head and aluminum at the foot to identify each grave site. If a gravestone is desired, a flat natural stone, max. 4 sq. ft. (2ft. x 2ft.) is acceptable and may be inscribed. Many choose to be creative by fabricating their own headstones and adding artistic elements.

John Wilkerson explains the perfect "eco-coup." Lori Ceier/
John Wilkerson shows bookshelf/casket Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

In addition to burial services, the Preserve offers eco-friendly caskets manufactured on premises. The caskets can be manufactured into a bookshelf if desired for use beforehand. Click here to learn more.  Throughout the Preserve, you will also find more than 20 Rustapharian characters – rusty metal sculptures crafted by the Wilkerson family from scrap metal.

To date, 85 humans, 19 dogs, 14 cats, 1 chicken, 1 goat, and 1 Guinea pig have been buried at the Preserve.

Learn more about the serene setting of Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve here:

From U.S. Hwy 331 and Hwy. 90 in DeFuniak Springs go east on Hwy 90 to County Road 83. Go 10 miles, the Preserve will be on the right. It is hard to miss, you will see the Rustafarians, turn right when you see what looks like the heads of two large missiles.
Call ahead for reservations:  (850) 859-2141
Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
297 Railroad Avenue
Defuniak Springs, Florida