GBAM Virtual Quarterly Event:

Hear about: Penn Forest Natural Burial Park in western PA

Sunday, September 13, 2020
2-3:30 pm/zoom

RSVP with Zoom/Register for this engaging event and discussion.

Pete McQuillin, one of Penn Forest’s founders, and cemeterian Laura Faessel have graciously agreed to be our speakers on September 13th for the fall GBAM virtual event. We will:

  • Learn the history of Penn Forest and the Returning Home Farm
  • Enjoy photos of the property and
  • Learn about the day-to-day operation of the cemetery, including adaptations in the time of Covid-19.

Please visit the website

In January, 2008, Pete McQuillin and his wife Nancy Chubb, started Green Burial Pittsburgh, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides green burial education and advocacy in western Pennsylvania. Then, in 2011, Pete and Nancy, along with 18 other investors and countless volunteers, opened Penn Forest Natural Burial Park in Verona, PA, which is a GBC certified Natural Burial Ground. Pete has been the cemetery manager there since then, but Laura has recently taken over the manager’s position.

In addition to the cemetery, Penn Forest runs Returning Home Farm, a sustainability demonstration project that includes livestock (goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, bunnies, honeybees and Jingles the donkey), farm-to-table gardens and events for the public, such as yoga with goats, birds and bees education, tree ID walks and more.

Laura Faessel has assisted Pete McQuillin stewarding Penn Forest Natural Burial Park for three years. She has her BA in Environmental Studies from Slippery Rock University. She was recently promoted to cemetery manager.

Here is a link to the Penn Forest Quarterly Newsletter

Pete McQuillin

Laura Faessel

Our Work

The Green Burial Association of Maryland promotes environmentally sound burial practices in the State of Maryland through public education, funeral industry outreach, legislative advocacy, and support for creating conservation burial grounds.  Green Burial upholds natural resource and land conservation, worker health protection, and reduction of pollutants and carbon emissions. 

Speakers are available to provide presentations on green burial practices and grounds and to discuss the ecological and spiritual aspects of green burial to interested public groups, or to those with funeral homes or cemeteries who want to explore this business opportunity. Speaker requests may be made on our Contact page. For funeral home and cemeteries with clients inquiring about green burial, GBAM brochures may also be requested on the Contact page. The Resources page provides information on green cemeteries in and near Maryland, and where to find green burial supplies.

GBAM tracks legislative developments at the State and local level in order to provide timely input on legislation affection green burial issues in Maryland. We notify members of opportunities to have their voices heard on green burial issues. To join GBAM, please Contact us.

GBAM works with individuals and organizations wishing to establish green or conservation burial grounds in Maryland, providing them with information, resources and guidance as they establish green options. Please make inquiries on our Contact page.