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It’s Official! Better Place Forests St. Croix Valley Now Open for Virtual Tours

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Better Place Forests creates and maintains conservation memorial forests for people who choose cremation and don’t want their ashes to end up in a traditional cemetery.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re open for online tours of our first forest in the Midwest and fourth property overall – St. Croix Valley. We’re one step closer in pursuit of our mission to inspire everyone to leave a meaningful legacy for the planet and the people they love.

Located in Scandia, MN, just 45 minutes outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul, this stunning property features 112 acres of lush greenery, 2,500 feet of lakefront forest and an incredible variety of trees including oaks, maples, and paper birches. As you’re walking the lush canopy-covered trails, you can spot white-tailed deer wandering through the property, hear songbirds among the treetops, and if you’re lucky, you can even catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring overhead.

We’re excited to join the Scandia, St. Croix River Valley, and greater Twin Cities communities. This is a particularly important area to conserve because of its gorgeous, mature forest and its unique biodiversity and ecology.

For a sneak peek of the forest, watch this short video filmed on location this fall.

We’re honored to have received overwhelming support from community members during the permitting process. We also want to thank Scandia Mayor, Christine Maefsky, whose family owns an award-winning dairy goat farm nearby, for giving us such a warm welcome to the community. She was recently quoted in the Pioneer Press saying, “It’s a great idea, [Better Place Forests is] offering something that many people want, which is a place to visit loved ones, to meditate, to feel close and connected to loved ones who died, and to do it in a beautiful setting while honoring our virgin forest and trees.”

A majestic red maple sits at the edge of the lake in the Shoreline Vista section.

Starting today, customers can see more of this forest’s natural beauty from the comfort of their own homes through an online forest tour. We’re initially offering three distinct sections:

  • Shoreline Vista: A quintessential lakeside retreat with some of the forest’s most impressive trees and ample space for family picnics.
  • Emerald Sanctuary: An idyllic stroll under a lush canopy bordered by a nature preserve. Just steps away from the future visitor center, it’s easily accessible to all. 
  • Elderberry Ridge: Wide hiking trails lead to a gentle slope dotted with abundant ferns and elderberries and frequent wildlife sightings.

Founders Circle members get access to exclusive savings, first choice of trees, and invites to VIP events.

Best of all, we’re offering our first customers a chance to join the St. Croix Valley Founders Circle. Membership includes up to 20% savings (over $1,000 on our most popular packages), first pick of trees, and exclusive invites to VIP events. Founders Circle members will also have their names inscribed in our forest to commemorate their early support. Over 80 people have already joined!

We’ve been busy preparing the forest for online tours and have received some wonderful mentions in the Star Tribune and on KSTP Channel 5 (ABC). Over the next few months, we’ll be hiring local team members to support in-person tours, starting May 2021 and memorial ceremonies – starting October 2021.

Each member of the Better Place Forests team has been enchanted by the forest from the minute they see the breathtaking views and crystal clear water. We’re confident you’ll feel the same. Book your online tour today.

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