After cremating a loved one, some families prefer to scatter the ashes, rather than keeping them in an urn. Scattering the ashes of your loved one can provide closure for you and your family. Many people enjoy the idea of scattering ashes in a place that meant a lot to the deceased, such as their favorite park, or at home.

Private Property

Scattering on your own or their own private property is something that might mean a lot to your family. If your loved one maintained a garden, it might be nice to scatter the ashes there.
If the private property is owned by someone else, you should get permission to scatter them by the land owner or a caretaker.


Many cemeteries now include scattering gardens; special areas designed for the scattering of ashes and the growth of beautiful flowers. These areas follow scattering regulations and the ashes help grow the flowers. Scattering gardens are peaceful and beautiful sections of cemeteries for a scattering ceremony.

Controlled Public Parks

City parks and local public land requires a permit to have ashes scattered. You should contact the park staff or local governance to get a permit, and for areas that would be better for the scattering. Areas like the Greenbelt or a state park would be considered as a controlled park. If your loved one spent a lot of time in a park, or walking the trails of one, it may be a great way to honor their memory.

Uncontrolled Public Land

For public land that is not directly controlled or cared for, such as the Appalachian trail outside of state parks, there are no laws requiring a permit or contacting authorities. If you wish to scatter in these areas, you should move at least 100 yards from trails, roads, or water sources. This is a great option for hikers or those who enjoy nature.

At Sea

Scattering ashes at sea is not an uncommon choice in New York. There are services that can take you out to a far enough spot, and will direct you towards contacting the EPA. Scattering at sea does not require permits, but you should notify the EPA within 30 days after the scattering ceremony if you are within US waters.

On Inland Waters

Some people would like to scatter ashes in a lake or pond that was meaningful to their loved one. Maybe a favorite fishing spot, or memorable family trip. The Clean Water Act has regulations on this. You may need to acquire a permit from the state or local government in the area where you wish to scatter the ashes.

For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.