2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Missouri Edition

This sixteenth edition of state guides to scattering ashes focuses on Missouri, the 'Show Me State'. This impressive state has some amazing landscapes, beautiful lakes and flowing rivers, and interesting museums and historical sites. In this comprehensive guide we provide important information about scattering ashes in Missouri with the goal of helping families understand how to scatter a loved one’s ashes in a dignified and legal way.

Regulations in Missouri for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes missouri

No state laws exist in Missouri that prevent families from storing or scattering a person or pet’s ashes, yet, it’s always recommended to find out if any local city or county laws or other regulations are in place prior to scattering.

Cremation makes the resulting ashes harmless and they pose no health risks. In Missouri, you can keep a loved one’s ashes in a grave, niche, crypt, urn, or other container of your choosing.

Where Can I Scatter Ashes in Missouri?

Many people will choose to scatter a loved one’s cremated ashes at a special place or a beautiful location. In addition to scattering, having a service (or celebration of life) before, during, or after the scattering occurs is becoming more and more common. This can be a great time to reflect on a loved one with family and friends present.  

There are many amazing places to scatter ashes in Missouri. Below we highlight a few of the more popular places to scatter.

  • Scattering Gardens – In Missouri, along with many other states, there are a number of churches, memorial parks, and cemeteries that now have scattering gardens. These are essentially designated areas on their property where you can scatter the ashes of a loved one. A quick internet search can typically find one or more scattering gardens in your area.
  • Private Property – Similar to most other states, Missouri does not have any state-wide laws that prohibit the scattering of ashes in your yard or other property you own. However, if your plan is to scatter cremated ashes on property owned by another person or organization, be sure to get their permission first.
  • Federal Land – Missouri is home to six amazing National Parks, which are popular places to scatter ashes. Many of the National Parks allow people to scatter ashes, however you typically need their permission first. Since each National Park has their own rules related to scattering, it’s a good idea to contact the park ranger’s office where you prefer to scatter to find out about any specific regulations at that park. Be sure to keep in mind that some parks require a permit and the approval process can take up to a few weeks or even months, so it’s always a good idea to plan ahead.
  • Public Land – Missouri is home to some beautiful natural landscapes. If you prefer to scatter at a location that’s public property, it’s a good idea to check with the local city or county offices in that area to see if any regulations exist.
  • From an Airplane – There are no state laws in Missouri restricting scattering ashes from an airplane. Ashes are harmless to scatter from the sky and pose no health risks. However, be sure to hang on to the urn or other container used to scatter as federal aviation law prohibits dropping any objects from the sky that can potentially harm people or property.
  • Water Burial – Many people throughout the country have a special connection to the water and prefer to have their ashes scattered in a water burial. The Federal Clean Water Act stipulates that this must be done at least 3 nautical miles from shore. In addition, the US EPA needs to be notified within 30 days of this type of scattering occurring.

How Do I Scatter Ashes?

scattering urn

Many new urns and uplifting memorial options are now available for people who choose to be cremated. This includes urns designed to scatter ashes that are shaped like a cylinder. This unique shape makes it easy to scatter away from your body (and prevents having the ashes blow back on you).

Below we’ve highlighted a few of the most popular scattering urns offered by funeral homes in Missouri and nationwide.

Scattering Urns Made From Bamboo

The Eco Scattering Urn is the only urn on the market that’s designed to scatter and made entirely from bamboo, a fast-growing sustainable resource. The bamboo on the outside of the Eco Scattering Urn is easy to be engraved with various information related to your loved one – their name, a saying, symbol, or image.

This patented urn has a special open and close locking mechanism that provides families with the ability to secure the ashes in the urn during transport and scatter at multiple locations with ease and control. The Eco Scattering Urn starts at $49 and comes in four sizes – a small for about a quarter of an average adult’s ashes, a medium for about half of one set of ashes, a large for one full set of ashes, and an extra-large for combining multiple sets of ashes.

Scattering Urns Made From Paper

Scattering urns made from paper can be found online and at many funeral homes nationwide. These typically have a scene printed on the outside of the urn and are a low cost choice to other options. The paper scattering urns are designed for one-time use and also have an additional step – you need to glue it together when loading the ashes in the urn. These have a wide range of prices online and at funeral homes.

Water Urns

Water burials are becoming more and more popular throughout the country and there are multiple options to help you do a water burial with ease. One, in particular, that is growing in popularity is the biodegradable Eco Water Urn This patent pending urn was recently introduced and has quickly become a leading choice of funeral directors nationwide. The urn is constructed from recycled plant materials with only heat and pressure (no glue or chemicals) and floats upright (similar to a buoy) for up to a few minutes until the bottom breaks open and gracefully disperses the ashes in water. The urn comes packaged in a sturdy cylinder bamboo case, an attractive piece that can serve as a protective case for the urn while it’s being transported to that special place for a water burial.

Multiple Memorials

With more people choosing cremation in Missouri and in most other states, new memorial options that incorporate cremated ashes have recently been introduced. In addition to scattering ashes, this includes doing a Living Urn tree burial that grows into a thriving living memorial, having ashes infused into a glass decorative piece that provides an array of color, or including some of the ashes in jewelry that can be worn with pride, among many other options. With so many new memorial options now available (and many more expected to be introduced over the next few years), many families are electing to divide up a loved one’s ashes and include a portion in a few different memorials.