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LAND3 Studio worked with Jeff Hodes, who was a previous client on several catholic cemetery development projects to master plan a natural cemetery in the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia. The idea of a natural cemetery centers around natural, nonchemical burial rituals within a native landscape. The native landscape aspect of natural cemeteries strives for natural water management, flora/fauna diversity and native materials.
The final master plan for Duck Run Natural Cemetery, centers around a natural plant succession concept with woodlands surrounding the site, mesic prairie/savannah inhabiting the majority of the site and a lowland meadow rill and pond in the middle of the site. Pedestrian circulation and architectural components are positioned on site to take advantage of the panoramic views to the surrounding Shanandoah Mountain Range and George Washington National Forest. Natural materials are utilized throughout the site and are the basis for creating a look for the cemetery that embraces the local culture and landscape vernacular.