Where You Can and Can’t Scatter Your Loved One’s Ashes in New York
If your loved one was cremated, they may have had a final wish as to where they wanted their ashes scattered. Before you start throwing them into the wind, however, there are some simple guidelines you should follow in New York.
YOUR OWN PROPERTY
This might be an obvious one, but you can always scatter ashes over any property you own. But if you decide to pick up and move at some point, you'll be leaving your loved one behind -- in a sense. It's just something to consider.
Was grandpa a huge Mets fan? Well, you can't just start throwing parts of him all over Citi Field. You need to obtain permission first, preferably in written form. Private property also includes things like college campuses, amusement parks, etc.
Most National Parks do allow for the scattering of ashes, but it doesn't hurt to check with the park in advance before throwing Grandma Bertha into the Grand Canyon.
The ocean is completely fine, but with one caveat: You must be at least three nautical miles from the shore before you scatter. And always keep the receptacle that contains the ashes after you're done scattering. This rule of thumb applies wherever you're doing it.
LAKES, RIVERS, STREAMS
If you're scattering ashes at an inland body of water, it's always encouraged to check with the local governing bodies first. Depending on the waterway and the land its on, you may need to obtain a permit.
One cemetery hack that will save you some cash is if you scatter your loved one's ashes there instead of burying them in a plot. But the same rules apply: make sure you obtain permission from the cemetery first.
SOME GENERAL GUIDELINES BEFORE SCATTERING
If you've ever seen cremated remains, you know they're not always a fine powder. Movies and media often depict it this way, but unless the ashes have been mechanically altered, they will often contain bone fragments. Be conscious of spreading them in a high-traffic area where someone else might be disturbed by them.
And if you want to avoid the type of scene depicted in the 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski, always assess the direction of the wind before you start shaking away.