2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Oregon Edition

This twelfth edition of state guides coving scattering ashes focuses on the state of Oregon. This amazing and beautiful state is home to a diverse landscape of beaches, mountains, forests, and farms and is known for its wild west history and quirky present-day traditions.

Funeral service providers in Oregon and other states are asked many questions about scattering ashes, including whether or not it if is allowed, where in Oregon can it be done, and what urn or container can you use to  scatter ashes? In this guide we highlight important information that covers storing and scattering ashes in Oregon.

Regulations in Oregon for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes Oregon

In Oregon, there are no state-wide laws that restrict you from storing or scattering ashes of a loved one (or pet). Cremated ashes can be placed in a crypt, grave, urn, or other container of your choosing.

Even though there are no state laws in Oregon prohibiting scattering ashes, some cities or counties may have local laws in place related to this. It’s always a good idea to check with local city or county offices in the area where you plan on scattering.

Where Can You Scatter Ashes in Oregon?

Many people will scatter ashes at a special place that had meaning to their loved one, or at another location outdoors. In addition, holding services with a scattering are becoming more common. A memorial service can take place before, during, or after a scattering and is often a wonderful way to honor and remember a love one.

In Oregon, there are virtually endless places to scatter a loved one’s ashes. Below we’ve highlighted a few of the more common ones.

  • Private Property – In Oregon, and in most other states, no state laws exist that restrict you from scattering ashes in your yard or on other property that you own. If you plan on scattering on property owned by another person or group, it’s always a good idea to get their permission first.
  • Scattering Gardens – Scattering gardens are designated areas that give people the ability to scatter. With the increase in cremation, a number of churches, memorial parks, and cemeteries in Oregon now have a scattering gardens on their grounds. If this is something of interest to you, a quick internet search can typically provide you with multiple options in your area.
  • Public Land – Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes. While no restrictions exist at the state level for scattering on public land, be sure to check with your local city or county offices to find out if there are any local rules or regulations.
  • Federal Land – Many people choose to be scattered (or scatter a loved one) in one of our country’s amazing National Parks. Most National Parks permit scattering as long as you ask for permission ahead of time. Since each National Park has their own set of rules, a visit or quick call to the park ranger’s office at the National Park where you’re considering scattering can provide you with the information you need.
  • In the Water – With Oregon’s long and beautiful Pacific coast and many waterways, scatterings at sea are a popular option of many Oregonians. A number of boating services offer this service throughout Oregon and a quick internet search can typically find a few options in your area. It’s important to note that U.S. federal law requires that cremated ashes are scattered at least three nautical miles from shore. Also, you must inform the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency within 30 days of doing a scattering at sea.
  • From an Airplane – In Oregon and in most other states, there are no state laws that restrict scattering cremated ashes from the sky. The cremation process renders ashes harmless to our health and there aren’t any issues related to releasing ashes from the sky. However, it is important that whoever performs the scattering from a plane holds on to the urn or other container used to scatter the ashes - United States federal aviation law prohibits releasing any containers or other objects from an airplane that could potentially cause harm to people or property.

How to Scatter Ashes in Oregon?

With the increasing number of people in Oregon choosing to scatter ashes, a lot of new and unique urns have recently been introduced by the funeral industry that are designed for scattering.

Below we touch on a few of the most popular urns for scattering offered by funeral homes and crematoriums in Oregon and other states nationwide.

Urns for Scattering

There are two main types of urns for scattering – the Eco Scattering Urn made from bamboo and scattering urns made from paper. Both are TSA approved and offered by thousands of funeral homes nationwide.

Eco Scattering Urn

The patented Eco Scattering Urn is made from bamboo, one of the world’s strongest building materials and a fast-growing, sustainable resource. This special urn has a long cylindrical shape to help people scatter ashes away from their body. It also has a unique open and close locking mechanism on top of the urn, giving you the ability to securely transport ashes to a location to scatter and giving people the ability to scatter with ease and control.

Paper Scattering Urns

A number of urns for scattering are made from paper (or cardboard) and can be purchased online or from your local funeral home. Similar to the Eco Scattering Urn, these are also shaped like a long cylinder (to help people scatter away from their body) and are also typically available with an image printed on the urn. Unlike the Eco Scattering Urn (which can be used to scatter at multiple locations) the paper scattering urns are designed for a single use and also have an added step where the funeral home or family will need to glue a piece in place during the loading process.

Urns for Water Burials

With its long Pacific coastline and many waterways in the state, water burials are common in Oregon.

Eco Water Urn

The patent pending Eco Water Urn was recently introduced to the market and is a leading choice of funeral homes nationwide. This special biodegradable urn floats like a buoy for up to a few minutes before gracefully dispersing the ashes in water. This water urn comes packaged in an attractive bamboo case – a great way to safely transport the water urn holding a loved one’s ashes and also a common piece used in ceremonies.

Flow, the Ice Urn

Flow, the Ice Urn is another great option for people interested in a water burial. This unique patented urn was recently introduced in the United States and is made only from ice – making it one of the most eco-friendly urns on the market. The ice urn gracefully floats on top of the water for a short period of time before it melts and the ashes are scattered.

More than One Memorial?

As more people continue to choose to be cremated instead of buried, more and more unique and uplifting memorial options that incorporate ashes have recently become available. With so many great options, many people find it to be a challenge to only get one memorial and dividing up a loved one’s ashes into multiple memorials is now quite common. You can scatter a portion of a loved one’s ashes at a special place, then use some or all of the remaining ashes to do a Living Urn tree burial, or having them incorporated into a glass decoration, jewelry, or a stone, among many other options.