Greensprings’ 100 acres is mostly rolling meadows with a few evergreen groves here and there and about 10 acres of woods. Once an abandoned dairy farm, Greensprings is bounded on three sides by 8,000 acres of protected forests.
Our ecological insight committee draws on the expertise of native plant specialists, naturalists, and others. We are grateful for their guidance. We’re creating a plan for planting memorial groves in active burial areas while keeping most of our land open for future burial areas.
The majestic forest that stood here once is gone, but through burial at Greensprings you can help restore it. Though most of our land will someday return to a classic old-growth woodland, we’ll keep about 30 acres mowed every few years to benefit meadowlarks, Henslow’s sparrows, northern harriers, bobolinks, and other birds that need open meadows.
Indeed, stewardship is at the heart of everything we do at Greensprings. For example, invasive species are a serious problem these days. Though some invasives are camouflaged with pretty flowers and sweet scents, they can push out native plants and could fail to provide food for wildlife through the seasons.
We’re lucky not to have too many “woody invasives” yet. Those we do have include multiflora rose, a planting of Norway spruce, and autumn olive (much of which we’ve removed).
But like most abandoned farmland in New York, our meadows are chock-a-block with nonnative invasive forbs (herbaceous plants that die back in the winter but aren’t in the grass family). Examples: spotted knapweed (very pretty), Canada thistle (a Eurasian plant), and ox-eye daisy (the first perennial that colonizes new grave mounds: pushing up daisies!). Dealing with them will be a decades-long process.
We invite people—perhaps you?—to help us cope with these invasives, protecting our returning forest.
Greensprings is part of a grand experiment—an experiment in learning how this new approach to stewardship marries traditional burial with saving the land, here and across North America. We hope you’ll join us.