Attending a Memorial Ceremony at Better Place Forests Point Arena

Welcome to Better Place Forests

We know that your loved one was special, and we believe their Memorial Ceremony should be special, too. Our team is here to help you craft a meaningful program to honor their life; some people choose special songs and readings for the ceremony, while some prefer a more simple and quiet time of reflection. We're here to help you curate the experience that you know will honor your loved one and their legacy.

We are honored to be hosting your friends and family for an upcoming Memorial Ceremony and we would like for you to be as prepared as possible for the event. Here's a little information about the general structure, logistics for the day of, and how to get in touch with us.

Update as of October 2020: Note that we remain committed to protecting the health of our employees and customers. Rest assured, we’re following federal, state and local guidance on safe business practices. This includes following guidelines provided by the Mendocino County Local Health Department and the CDC to open safely. We also maintain physical distancing, safety training and disinfecting protocols to create a safe visit for you and your loved ones.  

Arrival at the forest:

We know you may be traveling from a distance and that it can be difficult to estimate your arrival time. Please let us know if you have any questions about distance and timing.

The forest will be closed while we prepare to host your group, so if you arrive in the area early we recommend stopping in town for tea or coffee and a snack. The forest is 10 minutes from downtown Point Arena and 25 minutes from Gualala.

Important things to know:

  • The entire forest is a non-smoking property for health and safety reasons.
  • Please observe the 15mph speed limit on our private gravel road.
  • Weather can change suddenly–we recommend
  • layering with a warm jacket and long pants.
  • Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes as the forest
  • trails can be wet and steep in some places.
  • Generally, the walk to the tree is 5 to 10 minutes.
  • A mobility quad is available if you would like assistance to the tree.
  • The ceremony generally lasts 20-30 minutes; chairs are available by prior request if you do not wish to stand during this time.

What to expect:

After your group has gathered we will begin by combining your loved one’s ashes with native soil from the forest. You are welcome to observe and participate in this process as much or as little as you would like. You may also relax in our Visitors Center during this process.

We will then proceed to the tree together. There are walking sticks and a mobility quad available. If you would prefer a ride to the tree just let us know ahead of time. At the tree, we will stand as a group for 15-30 minutes. During the Memorial Ceremony, the family will have the opportunity to participate in the spreading of ashes beneath the tree. You will also be offered to sow native wildflower seeds and have private time at the tree without the Better Place Forests staff at the conclusion of the ceremony.

After the ceremony, you are welcome to explore the forest.


  • For driving directions: click here
  • For recommendations on where to stay, what to eat, and what to do, view our blog post titled 'Point Arena: Hotels, Restaurants, and Things to Do'
  • In order to make your visit as comfortable as possible, please let us know ahead of time if you need chairs during the ceremony or the mobility quad vehicle to get to the tree.

If you have any questions or request, you may reach our team at [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you in the forest!

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