By Jacob Wycoff

NORTH ADAMS (CBS) — The first conservation memorial forest in the state is being created in the Berkshires. The California-based company Better Place Forests aims to provide a sustainable alternative to traditional cemeteries.

If someone chooses to be cremated, their ashes can be spread at a private tree within the forest in Drury. The tree is protected but open for loved ones to visit.

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The land’s previous owner, a long-time Berkshire resident, has already chosen a tree for himself. “It’s a comforting feeling. You know that this is where your remains will be, and it’s so connected to nature, it’s beautiful, and it’s very peaceful,” said Dwight Brown.

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Better Place Forests Founder Sandy Gibson said, “What we wanted to create was a beautiful place to visit but most importantly a beautiful memory so that when you think of the people that you love, you think of a place that’s beautiful and full of life.”

There’s an element of environmental conservation to this as well since the ashes provide benefits for the trees and other plant life.

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Virtual tours will be available next month and the forest is expected to officially open later this year.

Jacob Wycoff