2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Arkansas Edition

This thirty-seventh edition of state-by-state guides to scattering ashes focuses on Arkansas. This unique state is home to impressive caves, picturesque mountains, incredible rivers, and famous hot springs.

With the growing interest in being cremated instead of buried (mainly due to a much lower cremation cost and that many families are less traditional), funeral directors in Arkansas and many other states are asked questions each day about cremation and scattering the resulting ashes. This includes whether or not scattering is allowed in Arkansas, where in Arkansas this can be done, and what type of urn or container is recommended to be used to scatter a loved one or pet’s ashes. In this state guide, we highlight important information related to scattering ashes in Arkansas to help provide answers to common questions, along with many others.

Regulations in Arkansas for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes Arkansas

There are very few state laws in Arkansas that restrict families from storing or scattering ashes. Cremated ashes are harmless and do not present any health risks. In Arkansas, ashes can be kept in a grave, niche, crypt, urn or other container of your choice. If you’re interested in scattering a loved one’s ashes, there are many beautiful places to do this in Arkansas.

Where Can You Scatter Ashes in Arkansas?

Families choose to scatter ashes in many different locations, with some of the most common being places that have special meaning to their loved one who passed. Also, many families are now having memorial services at the time of the scattering. This can be a good time to have family and friends come together and honor their loved one in a special way. At many services, the people who attend will also participate in the scattering.

In Arkansas, there are many wonderful places to scatter a loved one’s ashes. Below we’ve highlight a few of the more common ones.

  • Public Property – Arkansas has some beautiful landscapes, which can make for great places to scatter. If you are interested in scattering the ashes of a loved one on public property, it’s always a good idea to first check with local city or county government offices to find out if any local restrictions or regulations exist.
  • In Your Yard or Other Private Property – in Arkansas, as with a majority of other states throughout the country, there are no state-wide laws that prevent you from scattering ashes in your yard or other property you own. However, per Arkansas state law, if you want to scatter a loved one’s ashes on private property owned by another person, you need to get their written permission first.
  • Scattering Gardens – with the growing cremation rate in Arkansas, a number of churches and cemeteries are now opening up scattering gardens, which are areas on their property where they allow families to scatter ashes. If this is something of interest to you and your family, check with your local funeral director or church to find one nearby.
  • Federal Land – Arkansas is home to 7 amazing National Parks that attract over 3 million visitors each year! National Parks are popular places where people choose to scatter ashes. Every park has its own rules and regulations related to scattering, so if this is something of interest to you and your family, be sure to reach out to the park ranger’s office where you want to scatter to find out if it’s allowed there and to learn about any rules or regulations that may exist. Also, many National Parks require a permit to scatter ashes which can take weeks or even months to obtain. Therefore, if you plan on scattering ashes at a National Park, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
  • Water Burial – as many people throughout the country have a special connection with the water, water burials are becoming more and more popular. There are also many urn options that have recently been developed for this purpose. This includes the Eco Water Urn, a patent pending biodegradable urn that floats upright like a buoy and after a short amount of time it dissolves and gracefully spreads the ashes in the water. If a water burial is of interest to you, keep in mind that the Federal Clean Water Act requires that ashes are scattered at least 3 miles from shore. In addition, the EPA needs to be notified within 30 days of a scattering in water occurring.
  • Aerial Scattering – There are no state-wide laws in Arkansas that prohibit scattering from an airplane. If this is of interest to you, it’s important to note that while ashes are okay to be dropped from the sky, the urn or other container used to scatter must be held on to. Federal aviation law forbids dropping any objects from the sky that can cause harm to people or property.

How to Scatter Ashes?

With cremation rates on the rise in Arkansas and most other states, new urns have recently been introduced that are specifically designed to scatter. These urns are often referred to as ‘scattering urns’ and are shaped like a long cylinder or tube. This unique shape helps people scatter ashes away from their body and helps prevent having the ashes fall back on the person scattering.

Below we highlight some of the most common scattering urns offered by funeral homes and cremation service providers in Arkansas and throughout the country.

Eco Scattering Urn

The Eco Scattering Urn is a patented urn that made entirely from bamboo, a sustainable resource and one of the strongest construction materials available! This special biodegradable urn has a unique locking mechanism that helps secure the ashes in the urn during transport and also helps families scatter with ease and control. The Eco Scattering Urn is available online and at most funeral homes. It comes in four sizes, giving families the ability to find one that fits their needs - the small is for about 25% of an adult’s ashes, the medium is for about half of the ashes, the large is for an entire set of adult ashes, and the extra large is for combining the ashes from multiple people into one urn.

Paper Scattering Urns

Similar to the Eco Scattering Urn, scattering urns made from paper also have a long cylinder shape. This helps families scatter a loved one’s ashes away from their body. The paper urns are usually a lower cost option to other urns that are available and typically have a nature scene or other image printed on the outside. One drawback of the paper scattering urn is that it requires an additional step where you need to glue part of the urn in place after loading a loved one’s ashes.

Eco Water Urn

With the special connection many people have to water, water burials are growing in popularity throughout the country. A leading new urn designed for water burial memorials is the Eco Water Urn. This unique patent pending urn provides families with the ability to perform a water burial with ease and honor their loved one in a dignified way. It floats upright, similar to a buoy, for a short period of time before the bottom dissolves and the ashes are gracefully spread in the water. This unique urn is offered online and by leading funeral homes throughout the country and comes packaged in an attractive bamboo protective case. This case can be engraved with your loved one’s information or a special symbol of your choosing and is commonly used to securely transport the urn to that special place on the water to scatter.

Multiple Memorials

With the increased interest in cremation in Arkansas and most other states, many new memorial options continue to come available. In addition to scattering a loved one’s ashes at a special place, you can now also include their ashes in a Living Urn bio urn to grow a tree memorial, in a glass tabletop decoration that displays an array of color, or in a beautiful stone or jewelry that can be worn with pride! With so many new and uplifting memorial options available, and with more coming available every year, many families are electing to separate their loved one’s ashes and include a portion in a few different memorials.