Meetings are held remotely. Go to eastham-ma.gov/calendar-by-event-type/16 and click on a particular meeting to read its agenda. That document will provide information about how to view and take part remotely.
Thursday, Nov. 5
- Conservation Commission work session, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 10
- Open Space Committee, 5 p.m.
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 12
- Finance Committee, 5 p.m.
- Nauset Regional School Committee, 6 p.m.
As of Oct. 29, Eastham had three new cases within the last 14 days, 17 cases considered recovered, and no deaths.
Can You Dig It?
The select board voted at its Nov. 2 meeting to support Evergreen Cemetery in moving forward with green burials and set as its own goal to look for town-owned land for green burials for Eastham’s taxpayers and residents.
“It really looks much more pleasant to me and I hope we can find a place to accomplish it in Eastham,” said vice chair Aimee Eckman after a presentation by Green Burials Massachusetts Director Sophia Sayish.
While the select board’s approval wasn’t required for the privately owned cemetery to allow green burials, the cemetery will need board of health approval.
A green burial uses no embalming, and burial depth is 3½ to 4 feet, which “permits access by aerobic bacteria to enhance decomposition,” the presentation materials noted.
“Mother Nature knows what she’s doing when it comes to decomposing people, animals, everything else,” said Sayish. “It’s part of the cycle of life.”
Any containers used are made from biodegradable material such as pine, wicker, or cardboard. “Some people build their coffin while they’re alive and use it as a coffee table or other furniture until they need it,” said Sayish.
Evergreen’s vice president, Kathleen Fogg, said the cemetery association would be discussing green burials at its spring meeting and invited interested parties to attend. Eastham residency is not required to purchase a plot at Evergreen.
“We always have been open to whoever would like to rest forever in Eastham,” said Fogg. “We have been viewing a special area in our cemetery where we could do the green burials in a wonderful way. We have a good vision for the future of the cemetery.”
The select board will be looking at land already owned by the town before considering purchasing land that could be used for green burials.
“We can use land that exists and not disrupt the look and feel of the land,” said board chair Jamie Demetri.
“I like the idea, but we have to be sensitive to this,” said board member Art Autorino. “There are going to be some people who are not interested in having a cemetery next to their house.”
The board did not expect to move quickly on the issue, and will wait for an open-space inventory to be completed before starting to look for land that could be used for green burials.
“I don’t think this is a rush,” said Demetri.
“Depends on how old you are,” Autorino replied.
Temporary Event Suspension
The select board followed the recommendation of the town’s Covid task force and approved the suspension of events of 25 participants or more on town property until April 1, 2021.
“These are events that are sort of out of our control,” said Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe.
Board chair Jamie Demetri noted the suspension would set a straightforward townwide policy.
“It’s just not the time to hold these events,” said Demetri.
The suspension applies to events that required a permit from the town.
“Really what this is prohibiting are things that are just open to the public at large,” said board member Aimee Eckman. She gave as an example holding a festival on the Windmill Green. “Regulating how many people are there is almost impossible,” said Eckman. —Linda Culhane