Philander Chase Corporation, a conservation land trust connected to Kenyon College of Gambier, Ohio, has announced that it is planning to establish a “green cemetery” on a piece of land that it recently acquired. Green cemeteries are cemeteries that conduct burials in a manner that minimizes negative environmental impacts and promotes ecological health, and a conservation land trust is a non-profit organization that maintains real property to preserve its ecology, resources, or landmarks on the property.
The Philander Chase Corporation was created in 2000 to preserve the beauty of the rural land surrounding Kenyon College and to prevent unwanted development. The land purchased by the Philander Chase Corporation for the green cemetery is currently an 18-hole golf course, but the course will be transformed into a 9-hole golf course so that the remaining portion of the course can become green cemetery. One of the Philander Chase Corporation’s board members, Stephen Christy, is also a board member of the Green Burial Council, a non-profit organization that encourages and creates guidelines for green burials. He helped push for the creation of the cemetery. Philander Chase Corporation anticipates creating between 2,000 to 4,000 burial sites on the new land. Each plot will cost $4,000 (the price includes a donation that will be used for long-term conservation efforts in the cemetery).
With this latest purchase, the Philander Chase Corporation now holds easements on nearly 5,000 acres of land in the region surrounding Kenyon College’s campus.