Over my dead body: an exploration of burial practices for tallgrass prairie restoration
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The tallgrass prairie of Manitoba is among the most endangered ecosystems in the world. Rapid settlement in the prairies around the turn of the twentieth century led to an influx of agricultural development, setting forth a chain of events that would eventually see the near-total destruction of this once vast ecosystem. Today less than 1% of Manitoba’s native tallgrass prairie remains. How can we restore and protect this critically endangered ecosystem? To combat the destruction of the tallgrass prairie, this practicum traces the history of burials in the western world to propose a new cemetery development and management model to restore and protect this endangered ecosystem. This new model utilizes natural burial practices to establish a new eco-centric cemetery landscape in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to adapt to our society’s increased ecologically conscious sensibility. Because Canada has burial rights in perpetuity, this cemetery allows those interred within to take a stand and let everyone know that you can take this land over my dead body.