Green cemetery set to host public at third annual picnic
Penn Forest Natural Burial Park founder and owner Pete McQuillin organized the cemetery's first picnic as a “thank-you” to the people who had helped him establish Pennsylvania's first fully green cemetery.
Over the past two years, McQuillin has found common ground with local eco-friendly companies, and the picnic has evolved into more of a miniature green event.
“It's all about reuse,” McQuillin said of this year's picnic, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on June 1 at the cemetery, located at 155 Colorado St.
McQuillin said the first picnic was enough of a success that he began building on it.
“Everyone here is really like family,” he said. “The people who come here are all cut from the same cloth: we're all into doing things that are friendly to the earth.”
In that spirit, the picnic will feature demonstrations by Zero Fossil Energy Outfitters, a supplier of alternative and green energy products, workshops on sustainability, recycling and composting and tours of the grounds.
The cemetery also has formed a partnership with the Animal Rescue League Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Verona. Because of the burial park's completely natural, 32-acre wooded setting, center officials thought it an ideal place to release rehabilitated animals.
“We have similar interests and overlapping goals: creating a forest,” said Gilda Arroyo, humane and environmental educator at the wildlife center. “So we want to release animals into their natural habitat. Since we serve the same community, we thought it would be a good match.”
Arroyo said the relatively untouched setting and lack of traffic made the burial park ideal.
“This seemed like the perfect place to release squirrels, chipmunks, that type of animal,” Arroyo said. She will be on hand at the picnic with center volunteers with educational materials and to make people aware of the center, which is located on Verona Road.
McQuillin said he hopes the picnic, which is free and open to the public, will be a big draw.
“A lot of people want to tour the place, but they think we'll try and sell them a cemetery plot,” McQuillin said. “That's not the case. It's just a fun event, and a way to get people here,” he said.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills ‘bad rap’ not backed by crime reports
- Penn Forest will host Outdoor Classroom
- Mt. Hope Community Church’s “Summer J.A.M. set for Penn Hills
- PennDOT: Hunter Road may remain closed until winter