This thirteenth edition of state guides for storing and scattering ashes is focused on the state of Minnesota. This beautiful state is home to many amazing landscapes, including its abundant lakes (over 11,000!), spectacular rivers, and dense forests.
In Minnesota, along with most other states, more and more people are choosing to be cremated and then have their ashes scattered. Along with this growing trend, funeral homes and crematoriums throughout Minnesota are frequently asked various questions related to scattering ashes, including whether or not it is legal, where a scattering can be done in Minnesota, and what is the best type of urn that can be used to scatter ashes? In this comprehensive guide, we provide important information that can help answer these questions and many others.
Scattering Ashes: Regulations in Minnesota
No state-wide laws exist in Minnesota that restrict storing or scattering ashes. The resulting ash from cremation is harmless and does not pose any health threat to people who come in contact with it. Cremated ashes in Minnesota can be held in a grave, niche, crypt, urn, or any other type of container that a family prefers.
Even without Minnesota state laws restricting storing or scattering ashes, it is recommended to check if any local city or county regulations are in place at the location(s) where you plan on scattering. This type of information can typically be found by contacting local government offices in the area.
Where Can You Scatter Ashes of a Loved One in Minnesota?
Many people scatter a loved one’s ashes at a special meaningful place, or at another location outdoors. There are virtually endless places where families can scatter ashes in Minnesota - below we’ve highlighted some of the more popular ones.
- Yard or Other Private Property - Similar to most other states, there are no state-wide laws in Minnesota that restrict people from scattering ashes in their yard or on other privately-owned property. If you plan on scattering on private property you don’t own, be sure to get permission from the owner first.
- Scattering Gardens - In Minnesota, a growing number of churches, memorial parks, and cemeteries throughout the state have developed scattering gardens (special areas on their grounds where families can scatter ashes). A simple internet search can typically find one or more scattering garden options in most areas.
- Public Land - With Minnesota’s natural beauty, there are many amazing places families can scatter a loved one’s ashes. While no state laws exist related to scattering ashes on public land, it’s always a good idea to check if any rules are in place at the local level (county or city).
- National Parks - Minnesota is home to six of our great National Parks. These are some of the most beautiful places in the state and common places where people are interested in scattering a loved one’s ashes. Many National Parks allow scattering, however, you need to get permission beforehand. As every National Park is different, it’s important to check ahead of time to see if scattering ashes is permitted and what requirements, if any, need to be followed.
- Water Burial - Water burials are a popular option chosen by families throughout the country. Just keep in mind that federal law requires that ashes are scattered at least 3 nautical miles from land. In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires that it’s notified within 30 days of ashes being scattered in the water – with a quick internet search you can find the necessary forms for this.
- From the Sky - In Minnesota, along with many other U.S. states, no state-wide laws are in place that prevent people from scattering cremated ashes from an airplane. Federal aviation law only requires that whatever is dropped from the sky does not potentially harm people or property - ashes are fine, however, be sure to hold on to the urn or other container used to scatter.
How Can You Scatter Ashes in Minnesota?
With the significant increase in the amount of people electing to be cremated in Minnesota and elsewhere nationwide, along with an increased interest in scattering ashes, various urns have recently been made available that are designed to scatter. These new types of urns typically have a unique long cylinder shape (similar to a tube), which helps people scatter away from their body and avoid having the ashes blow back on them.
Below we describe some of the more popular scattering urns used by families in Minnesota and other states throughout the country.
Some of the leading urns designed to scatter ashes include the Eco Water Urn, Eco Scattering Urn, and scattering urns made from paper. All of these are TSA approved and are affordable options for most families.
- Eco Water Urn
The patent pending Eco Water Urn is a popular urn designed for water burials and a leading choice of funeral homes in Minnesota and nationwide. This special biodegradable water urn is made from recycled plant materials and floats like a buoy in the water for up to a few minutes before the urn slowly breaks down and gracefully spreads the ashes in water. The packaging for this urn is an attractive bamboo case - perfect to transport the urn in to the special place in the water for the scattering.
- Eco Scattering Urn
The biodegradable Eco Scattering Urn is made from bamboo, one of the strongest building materials on earth! This special patented urn has a long cylinder shape (to help prevent having ashes blow back on the person scattering) and comes standard with a special open and close locking mechanism on top. This locking function helps to securely transport the urn holding a loved one or pet’s ashes and gives families the ability to scatter with ease and control.
- Paper Scattering Urns
Scattering urns made from paper can be found online or at most funeral homes. These are typically a lower cost option to other scattering urns and typically have a design or symbol printed on the urn. Unlike the Eco Scattering Urn (which can secure ashes in the urn to take to multiple locations or do multiple scatterings of a person’s ashes), the scattering urns made from paper are designed for one-time use.
Having Multiple Memorials
With a growing number of people in Minnesota and throughout the nation choosing to be cremated, many new memorials that incorporate ashes have become available. With so many new and uplifting options, some families find it to be challenging to choose a single memorial for a loved one, and instead, decide to divide up their loved one’s ashes into multiple memorials. This can include scattering some of the ashes and incorporating the remainder in a tree burial, jewelry, stone, or glass decorative piece, among other options.