2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Nebraska Edition

This thirty-fourth edition of state-by-state guides to scattering ashes focuses on the state of Nebraska. This unique state is home to impressive rolling sand dunes, beautiful lakes and rivers, dramatic rock formations, and thriving communities.

In Nebraska, along with many other states, the cremation rates continue to increase. This is mainly due to a much lower cremation cost (vs. burial) and that many families are less traditional than they once were.

With cremation on the rise, many people are also electing to have their ashes scattered at a beautiful meaningful place to them or their family. Funeral directors in Nebraska, along with in many other states, are fielding frequent questions from families about scattering ashes, including whether or not it’s allowed, where in Nebraska can ashes be scattered, and what type of urn is do they recommend to scatter? In this guide we highlight key information related to scattering ashes in Nebraska to help answer many of the common questions people have related to this.

Regulations in Nebraska for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes Nebraska

The resulting ashes from the cremation process are harmless and do not present any health risks. In Nebraska, there are no state-wide laws that prohibit storing or scattering ashes. They can be kept in a grave, niche, crypt, urn, or other container of your choosing. If you’re interested in scattering a loved one or pet’s ashes, there are many places where you can do that in Nebraska.

Where in Nebraska Can You Scatter Ashes?

Many families in Nebraska will elect to scatter a loved one’s cremated ashes at a place that has special meaning to them or their family. Also, many families will hold a service around the scattering taking place. This is a time to gather family and close friends together and reflect on a loved one who passed. This can be as formal or informal as you want it to be and can include having people who are present participate in the scattering.

There are many beautiful locations in Nebraska to scatter a loved one’s ashes. Below we provide information on some of the more popular places where people scatter in the state.

  • Private Property – As with most other states, Nebraska has no state laws that prohibit you from scattering a loved one’s ashes in your yard or on other private property. If you prefer to scatter ashes on another person’s private property, be sure to get their permission in writing first.
  • Scattering Gardens – With a large and growing number of people in Nebraska choosing to be cremated, many cemeteries, memorial parks, and churches in the state are opening up scattering gardens. These are special designated areas where families can scatter a loved one’s ashes. If this is something of interest to you, reach out to your local funeral director, or do a quick online search to find out what options exist in your area.
  • Public Land – Even with no state-wide laws in Nebraska that prohibit scattering ashes, if you’re interested in scattering on public land, be sure to check with city or county government offices where you plan on scattering to find out if there are any local restrictions or regulations in place.
  • Federal Land – Five of our amazing National Parks are located in Nebraska. National Parks are common places where families prefer to scatter ashes of a loved one. Every National Park has its own set of rules and regulations related to scattering, and therefore, it’s recommended to check with the park ranger’s office where you prefer to scatter ashes to learn if it is permitted at that park and what rules and regulations need to be followed. Also, certain parks require a permit, which can take weeks or even months to obtain.
  • Water Burial – many people have a special connection to the water and want to be memorialized with a water burial, or scattering in water. With this popular memorial option, new urns have recently been made available that are designed for this purpose. This includes the Eco Water Urn, a special biodegradable urn that floats for up to a few minutes before gracefully spreading the ashes. If a water burial is of interest to you, keep in mind that federal law states that it needs to occur at least 3 nautical miles from land and the Environmental Protection Agency must to be notified within thirty days of it occurring.
  • Aerial Scattering – In Nebraska, along with many other states, there are no state laws in place that prohibit having ashes scattered from an airplane. If this is of interest to you, keep in mind that while ashes can be released from the sky, be sure that the urn is held on to – federal aviation law prohibits dropping any objects from the sky that has the potential to cause harm to people or property.

How to Scatter Ashes?

With a significant and growing interest in cremation and also having the resulting ashes scattered, many new urns and memorial options designed around scattering have recently become available. Below we provide information on some of the most popular urns designed to scatter that are offered by funeral homes in Nebraska and throughout the country.

Bamboo Scattering Urns

Bamboo is a light material, yet it is 3 times stronger than timber and has greater tensile strength than steel!  The patented Eco Scattering Urn is the only scattering urn on the market that’s made from bamboo. This special urn includes a unique open and close locking mechanism that gives you the ability to safely and securely transport your loved one’s ashes in the urn and also helps you scatter the ashes with ease and control. This bamboo urn can include custom engraving of your loved one’s name, date of birth and death, and a symbol of choice – all for a reasonable price. The Eco Scattering Urn starts at $49, an affordable price for most families.

Paper Scattering Urns

There are many scattering urns available that are manufactured from paper (or cardboard). These urns come with a nature image or other design printed on the outside and are typically a lower cost option to other urn options available. One drawback with the paper urns is that they require an extra step of gluing part of the urn together when they’re loaded with ashes.

Water Urns

Water burials, or scatterings in water, are a popular memorial option chosen by many throughout the country. With the significant interest in water burials, many new urns have recently been developed that are designed to scatter ashes in water. This includes the Eco Water Urn, a leading patent pending urn that makes it easy on families to do a water burial. This special biodegradable urn is made from recycled plant materials (only with pressure and heat - no glues or chemicals). The urn floats upright in the water (similar to a buoy), and within a few minutes the bottom breaks open and ashes held in the urn are gracefully scattered in the water. The Eco Water Urn is shipped in a protective bamboo case – an attractive piece for ceremonies and also a great way to safely transport the urn holding a loved one’s ashes to a special place on the water for the memorial.

Multiple Memorials?

With the large and growing amount of people choosing cremation in Nebraska and many other states, a number of new and interesting memorial options have recently come available. With so many options to choose from, many people are finding it challenging to have a single memorial for a loved one, and instead, are choosing to honor them with two or more memorials. This commonly includes scattering a portion of their loved one’s cremated ashes at a meaningful place, then using the remaining ashes with a Living Urn bio urn to plant a memory tree, in a colorful glass tabletop decoration, or in a beautiful stone or jewelry, among a number of other uplifting options.