Heartwood Preserve is the first conservation cemetery within a nature preserve in the Tampa Bay area. They conserve and permanently protect the endangered natural habitats by providing environmentally-friendly burial options.
In this webinar, Executive Director Laura Starkey and Assistant Director Diana Brooks tell the story of Heartwood Preserve (Laura’s family’s ranch), give an overview of the land’s history and management, and discuss the importance of fire ecology to the overall health of the preserve. They also introduce participants to the process of conservation (‘green’) burial and its positive environmental impact.
Heartwood Preserve includes two primary ecosystems: longleaf pine flatwoods and cypress wetlands. The flatwoods community is dominated by Longleaf pine, Wiregrass and Saw palmetto and is home to many fall-blooming wildflowers, including Goldenrod, Blazing star, Chaffhead, Coreopsis and Asters. Gopher tortoises, Bobwhite quail, Sherman’s fox squirrel, Wild turkey and White-tailed deer all reside within this pristine habitat. The cypress wetland is a lush, sensitive system protected by limited human access and a broad buffer.
Heartwood Preserve is a place where end-of-life decisions are made in harmony with nature, where all of life’s passages are honored and celebrated, and the natural ecology of a beautiful and unique habitat is protected. The preserve is open to the public. In addition to natural burial services, visitors can take a walk in the woods, experience a guided tour, and participate in Heartwood’s environmental and social events.