Green Cemetery for Natural Burial

Fernwood is one of the country’s first environmentally conscious green cemeteries, where land stewardship and restoration is integrated with cemetery and burial ritual. 

© Frank Schulenburg / CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are one of the only green cemeteries in the state of California. The rolling hills of our grounds include both forest and meadow burial sites, many with views of Mount Tamalpais and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Green, or natural burial involves no embalming or chemicals of any kind, and no grave-liners or vaults are necessary. Instead, the body is allowed to recycle naturally back to the earth. Fernwood provides both full body and cremation burial options in the green area of our cemetery. We allow only biodegradable burial containers, such as a natural wood or wicker caskets, fabric shrouds or wood cremation containers.

Boulder grave markers

As part of our land stewardship, graves at Fernwood are dug by hand, and graves are not marked with traditional cut and polished headstones or bronze markers. Instead, a small, natural boulder can be engraved and used as a marker. Some families choose to simply allow their loved one’s gravesite to blend into the natural environment – where every tree, flower, songbird and butterfly becomes a living memorial. We map each grave using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and mark every burial with an identification device to ensure that a family can always find their loved one’s location.

National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat

As a National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat, our cemetery provides a sustainable habitat for wildlife to live and raise their young. Our hillsides are blanketed with heritage oak and bay laurel trees, towering over ferns and native grasses. Songbirds, squirrels, deer, and even a bobcat or two have chosen to make Fernwood their permanent home.

Pricing

Cremation Space: Prices starting from $2,640
Burial Space: Prices starting from $6,710
Click here to see our plans and pricing.

Click here for a map of our grounds.

If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact Fernwood Cemetery and Funeral Home at 415-383-7100 or through the form on our Contact page.

We invite you to visit us, meet with a member of our team, and take a guided walk around.

Sections

Upper Meadow

The Restoration of Fernwood’s Coastal Prairie. Memorial Interpretation: High density of wild flowers provides a seed bank for surrounding lands and habitat for butterflies, also the eradication of broom and other invasive species. Graves are nestled into a hillside with views down Tennessee Valley and hiking trails into Founders’ Forest and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

lower Meadow

The Restoration of Fernwood’s Coastal Prairie. Memorial Interpretation: High density of wild flowers provides a seed bank for surrounding lands and habitat for butterflies. On-going eradication of broom and other invasive species. Graves are nestled into a hillside with views of Mount Tamalpais with hiking trails into the Ancestral Forest.

Founders’ forest

Memorial Interpretation: The Founders’ Forest represents the pre-restoration of an Oak woodland with the removal of invasive Eucalyptus Trees and other invasive species.

ancestral forest

These spaces exist in this tranquil wooded area of Fernwood. A meandering trail makes its way through the trees starting from the pioneer section heading towards the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

golden gate

Cremation spaces only exist on this hillside meadow at Fernwood. A rustic trail leads from Upper Meadow to Golden Gate. Note: Not easily accessible.

founders transition

This easily accessible area defines the boundary between the historic cemetery and the natural burial areas. These hillsides are being restored to natural grasslands with scattered Oak and Bay trees as the Eucalyptus are gradually removed. Founders Transition features sweeping views of Tennessee Valley and Mt. Tamalpais.

sacred grove

Premium location area on a grassy knoll with views of Mt. Tamalpais and Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

family grove

Family estate area amid oak and bay trees situated above the Fernwood historic cemetery with views of Mt. Tamalpais.

Mt. fernwood

Cremation spaces only exist at this highest point on the grounds. Bordered by forests below, this meadow affords views of the valley below and the adjacent Golden Gate National Recreation area. Note: Not easily accessible.

Gan Yarok is a natural burial Jewish cemetery within Fernwood and located on a hillside meadow reached by a meandering trail through the Ancestral Forest. Orthodox, Conservative and Community sections within Gan Yarok each carry specific burial rules and regulations.

Gan Yarok Expansion is a natural burial Jewish cemetery within Fernwood and located on a hillside meadow reached by a meandering trail through the Ancestral Forest. Orthodox, Conservative and Community sections within Gan Yarok each carry specific burial rules and regulations.