Commissioners don’t OK ‘Green Cemetery’

Perry said, ‘More cash carry over ever’

By Dan Pennington -

Bryan County Commissioners met Monday to consider what could be considered by some, a strange request.

Michael Stephens wants to start a “green cemetery” called “Green Tree Burial Grounds.”

It seems everything lately has had a green-themed angle.

They claim the decomposing body becomes fertilizer and that there’s no chemicals put in the ground.

It’s used in advertising to attract attention, and now, it seems it’s more old fashioned than anything.

Embalming became really popular because of the Civil War.

Families wanted the bodies of their loved ones returned home, and with trains available, bodies had to be preserved for the trip.

Preserving bodies had been done thousands of years.

Stephens wants to put his “green cemetery” in Mead on his 12 acres.

Stephens said a tree would mark where each body is.

Commissioner Jay Perry gave his take on the “green cemetery.”

He said, “We basically told the gentlemen that there’s not a lot of laws governing this. It’s not done. Someone digs a hole, no container, no embalming.”

Perry said there’s no permanent marker.

Just put the body in the ground.

Perry said, “We talked about the Certificate of Authority the man was requesting. Our lawyers are not sure of what we should do. When people set up a cemetery in the State of Oklahoma, they plot, the put roads, they set it up properly.”

They took no action because they don’t have enough information to make a decision at this time.

Commissioners said that many things just didn’t make sense and didn’t comply with current Oklahoma burial laws.

Other action at the meeting was mostly routine.

They did fill a maintenance position due to a recent vacancy.

The commissioners went over financial statements for the past year.

They paid bills for the county, transferring money from one account to another.

Perry said the county is $1.3 million better off this year than last.

They had more money to carry over this year since July 1st when the fiscal year began.

Perry said, “we had a better carry over of cash than we’ve ever had.”

Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or

Perry said, ‘More cash carry over ever’

By Dan Pennington

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