2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Wisconsin Edition

This twentieth edition of state guides related to scattering ashes covers the state of Wisconsin. This amazing state is home to stunning waterfalls, beautiful shoreline on the Great Lakes, picturesque parks, and rolling farmland.

Funeral directors in Wisconsin and most other states are frequently asked questions about scattering the ashes of a loved one or pet. Common questions include whether scattering is allowed, where in Wisconsin people can scatter ashes, and what type of urn or other container is recommended to scatter? In this Wisconsin state guide we provide information to help answer these common questions and many others.

Regulations in Wisconsin for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes wisconsin

In Wisconsin, state law allows you to place ashes in a grave, niche, or crypt, or to dispose of them in "any other lawful manner" as long as the ashes are reduced to a particule size of 1/8 of an inch or less. Certain cities and counties in Wisconsin may have local laws related to scattering ashes. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check with city or county offices to see if there are any local regulations in place where you plan on scattering.

Where to Scatter Ashes in Wisconsin?

Many people will choose a location to have their ashes scattered that has special meaning to them, or at another beautiful location outdoors. There are virtually endless places in Wisconsin to scatter a loved one’s ashes - below we describe some of the more popular ones.

  • Private Property – In Wisconsin, and most other states, there are no state laws that restrict you from scattering ashes in your yard or on land or other property that you own. If you prefer to scatter ashes on private property owned by somebody else, be sure to get their permission first.
  • Great Lakes – With its borders touching Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, many people in Wisconsin choose to do a water burial with their loved one’s ashes. There are a number of boating companies that provide this service in Wisconsin - a quick internet search can typically find one or more options near you. A few things to point out before doing a water burial - U.S. federal law requires it’s done at least 3 nautical miles from shore and the Environmental Protection Agency needs to be notified within 30 days of doing a water burial.
  • Scattering Gardens – With the growing interest in cremation, a number of cemeteries, memorial parks, and churches throughout Wisconsin have developed scattering gardens, or designated areas to scatter ashes. A quick online search can typically find scattering gardens in your area.
  • Public Land – Wisconsin is a beautiful state with some amazing natural landscapes. Before scattering on public land in Wisconsin, it's always a good idea to check with city or county government offices where you plan on scattering to make sure there are no local restrictions in place.
  • Federal Land – Wisconsin has two National Parks and two National Scenic Trails. As each federal location has different rules on scattering ashes (and they can change over time), if you plan on scattering on federal land it’s always a good idea to call the park ranger’s office or other office that is in charge of the property and learn about any rules or regulations that are in place.
  • From the Sky – There are no state laws in Wisconsin restricting scattering ashes from an airplane. Through the cremation process the resulting ashes are harmless and do not pose any health risks. However, be sure that the urn or container used to scatter from a plane is held on to – federal law prohibits dropping any objects from the sky that could potentially damage property or harm people.

How to Scatter Ashes in Wisconsin?

With the growth in the number of people electing to be cremated over being buried in Wisconsin and most other states, many new urn options have been introduced in the past few years, including urns that are specifically designed to scatter ashes.

Below we describe some of the most popular urns for scattering ashes on land or in the water.

Urns for Scattering Ashes

scattering urn

Some of the most widely used scattering urns for ashes, include the Eco Scattering Urn, scattering urns manufactured from paper, and the Eco Water Urn. These urns are TSA approved and can be ordered online or from your local funeral home in Wisconsin.

Eco Scattering Urn

The Eco Scattering Urn has a long cylinder shape that helps direct the ashes away from a person’s body while scattering. It is made entirely from bamboo, a fast growing sustainable resource. The Eco Scattering Urn comes in four sizes and includes a unique locking mechanism on top of the urn. This gives families the ability to scatter with control and ease, and also secure the ashes in the urn while traveling to that special place to scatter. Starting at $49, it’s an affordable option for most families.

Paper Scattering Urns

Paper scattering urns are available in multiple sizes and with various images printed on the outside of the urn. Similar to the Eco Scattering Urn, the paper urns also have a long, tube-like shape which helps people scatter away from their body. These are typically a lower cost option to other urns, however come with a few drawbacks - there’s an added step while loading of gluing it together and they can break down if they get wet or in severe weather events.

Eco Water Urn

The patent pending Eco Water Urn was recently introduced to the market and has quickly become the leading water burial urn offered by of funeral homes in Wisconsin and throughout the country. This unique urn is 100% biodegradable and floats in the water for up to a few minutes until the bottom breaks apart causing the ashes to gracefully scatter in the water. This special urn comes packaged in a unique bamboo cylinder casing, which makes for a great way to secure the urn while transporting it to that special place for the water burial.

Flow, the Ice Urn

A new option for water burials that is getting a lot of interest in the U.S. and worldwide is Flow, the Ice Urn. This unique patented urn has received several prestigious European design awards and, since it’s made entirely of ice, it is arguably the most eco-friendly urn available. The ice urn floats on top of the water until it begins to melt and gracefully release the ashes from the center of the urn. It is expected that Flow, the Ice Urn will be available in Wisconsin and surrounding states by mid-2020.

Two or More Memorials

With cremation recently surpassing burial as the leading choice of Americans (primarily due to much lower cremation costs and that families are less traditional than they once were), many new urns and uplifting memorial options have been introduced to the market. With these new memorial options, many families are finding it difficult to only have one memorial for their loved one, and instead, are choosing to separate their loved one’s ashes into multiple memorials. This includes scattering some of a loved one or pet’s ashes at a special location and then using the additional cremated ashes with a tree urn to grow a living memorial, or having them placed in a stone or piece of jewelry, or incorporated in a glass decorative piece, among many other options.