Green River Cemetery

The Pine Grove

Probably the most important feature of Green River Cemetery's beauty is its natural landscape of mature trees. The founders of the Cemetery carefully chose its present site to take advantage of the pre-existing forest canopy. Mature trees, representative of nature, are especially important to the rural cemetery design as symbolic features of the stages of life and death. The trees also provide welcoming shade and shelter for visitors as well as habitat and cover for wildlife.

The pine grove of approximately three acres consists of majestic 90 foot tall white pine trees with an understory which includes white pine, striped maple, low bush blueberry, mountain laurel, beech, red and white oak, black birch, partridgeberry, and wintergreen. The grove of mature white pine trees of a single age and towering height differs from the surrounding diverse forests. The quiet natural simplicity of a 'cathedral' of pines serves as a uniform, shaded backdrop that frames, enhances the chapel.

The chapel lends beauty and history to the site, is nestled in the pine grove, and is the single most important design element in the Cemetery landscape, enhancing its permanence and beauty. The unique combination of the pine grove and the chapel form a synergy and complement unique to Green River Cemetery. The stone chapel among the pines at the top of the hill from the Wisdom Way entrance immediately establishes the beauty and charm of the cemetery.

The pine grove also screens the developed sections behind, inviting discovery of what lies beyond. The lack of shrubs under the white pine canopy exposes long and wide views in all directions, Views are also attractive from within the pine grove itself, looking through the vertical tree trunks to the historic monuments.

Damman, D. Alex, and Hayes, Cynthia. 'Master Plan for Green River Cemetery'.
Conway School of Landscape Design, 1995.