Austin is known for many things, one of which is its spectacular greenspaces. The city has been committed to preserving parks, trails and greenbelts for decades. So it’s understandable that many families want to scatter cremated remains in scenic spots around the city.
It may seem like scattering cremains in natural places won’t be an issue since it’s out in the open, especially if you use a green cremation service. But knowing how to scatter cremains properly means knowing the regulations about where and how it can be done.
Regulations Around Scattering Cremains in Austin
The first thing Texas residents should know is that the state laws for scattering cremated remains are very lenient. Texas law allows for cremains to be scattered over any designated area of a cemetery, private property (with the owner’s permission) and uninhabited public land, including public waterways.
However, every city can have their own local laws and regulations for scattering cremains. Plus, you’ll need permission to scatter cremains on any federal land within the Austin city limits.
Before choosing a spot for the scattering, make sure you know if it’s federal, state, local or private property. That will dictate if the scattering can occur at a location and how the cremains can be scattered. Since the laws can change at any time, we highly recommend checking with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department if you plan to scatter a loved one’s cremains within the city limits outside of designated scattering areas.
Popular Public Areas for Scattering Ceremonies in Austin
With so few regulations and so many beautiful outdoor locations it’s not surprising the Austin Cemeteries Master Plan noted that more families in Austin were choosing to scatter cremated remains in city parks. Below are three of the most popular scenic spots in Austin where scattering ceremonies occur.
Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake
Avid runners and outdoor enthusiasts around the country know of Austin’s 10-mile hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake. It’s a circuit that some people make on a daily basis, and it has some of the best views you’ll ever see of downtown Austin. It makes a lot of sense that locals would want their remains scattered at a meaningful place on the trail.
The one drawback is the trail can be very active at certain times of day so there might not be much privacy. There are a number of seating areas and offshoots that are off the main trail, which are the best option if you want to avoid onlookers.
Red Bud Island
If a loved one was a dog lover, Red Bud Island is a perfect final resting place. This tiny little island where dogs can run off-leash has a number of private coves that are ideal for a secluded scattering ceremony. Red Bud Island is surrounded by towering cliffs that add to the secluded feel but also block the sunset. So you may lose light a little earlier than expected during the afternoon.
McKinney Falls State Park
Families will be happy to know that more than a decade ago the Green Burial Council and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) worked together to establish guidelines and protections for scattering cremains in several state parks. One of those parks was McKinney Falls in the southern part of Austin.
The joint effort means that there are certain areas of McKinney Falls that are designated for scattering cremains. You can scatter in other areas of the park, but the designated area has been protected so that development can’t ever happen on the land. It effectively preserves the site as a final resting place.
Preserving Austin’s beautiful environment means making more eco-friendly choices in life and in death. If you would like to know more about water cremation and other cremation services the team at Green Cremation Texas can answer all of your questions. You can give us a call, text or email anytime of day.