The Tower Street entrance to the Forest Hills Cemetery is currently closed as they remove damaged trees from that area. But numerous people expressed their doubt about the trees needing to be removed on the Cemetery's Facebook page. The Cemetery, which is a private business, can remove the trees from their property if they want to do so, politely responded to commenters and explained the situation. "We’re working to clear that area up and will be planting there to reestablish the area with healthy trees. We’re also hoping to repair the pathways (especially the one going to the right towards Sections 6 and 7) so that they are not as hazardous," answered the Cemetery to one commenter.
Jamaica Plain and surrounding neighborhoods in southwestern Boston have the highest tree canopies in the city. Generally speaking, the tree canopy is the part of the city shaded by trees. The city recently released a tree canopy assessment for 2014-2019. This year's worth of analysis is from high-quality, high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) images captured during airplane flyovers of Boston, according to a press release. Boston's Parks and Recreation Department commissioned the report to understand which areas have the most potential for increased tree cover, and analyze how the city's canopy cover has changed.
Joggers, bicycling, and dogs will no longer be allowed when the Forest Hills Cemetery reopens to the public. And there's a neighborhood petition objecting to the private cemetery's new policy. The cemetery announced it was closed to the public in late April because too many people were coming to bike rides, walk around, walk dogs, and exercise. The reopening date has not been chosen yet, and will be determined based upon the guidance of the state. "We require all visitors to be respectful of our primary purpose which is to bury the dead and to provide a peaceful and tranquil setting for their families and friends," said the cemetery's website.
Cross the Forest Hills Cemetery off your list of places you can walk around. The cemetery has closed its grounds to the general public due to too many people coming in for walks and bicycle rides. UniversalHub.com reported that the cemetery's side gates were locked on Tuesday. The main gate is only open between 2 and 4 pm, and that's only for people going to burials and cemetery staff and officials. A staffer told UHub that more people have come to the cemetery since the stay-at-home order then normal, and that includes dog walkers, bicyclists, and little kids, who were climbing trees and monuments.
What should be done with this body of mine when, as the saying on many old New England tombstones goes, I have departed this life? Over the years I spent writing a novel starring a gravedigger, this question crept gradually from the back of my mind to the fore of it. My protagonist, Ben, champions green burials at a graveyard inspired by Forest Hills Cemetery (more on that later), and he devotes a share of his free time to creating a burial suit laden with mushroom spores, designed to turn his remains into “some really nice compost.”
Through several drafts of the novel, Ben both reflected and inspired my burgeoning plans for making an environmentally friendly transition from flesh to dust. Though I wasn’t up for engineering my own burial suit, I started to picture myself being lowered, free of a casket and embalming chemicals, into a hole in some conservation land, a possibility that an episode of the HBO series “Six Feet Under” first brought to my attention. Then my father died.