Scattering of Cremated Remains                    

Alberta Parks supports scattering of cremated remains for personal, spiritual, and/or religious purposes. The process of scattering cremated remains in these locations should consider the impact to the public and the environment.  Alberta Parks recommends the following guidance:

  1. Cremated remains should be completely pulverized prior to scattering. No ferrous or non-ferrous metal products, metal identification disk, teeth, bone fragments or remnants recognizable as human remains should be visible.
  2. Cremated remains should be fully dispersed such that no obvious remnants of scattering remain.
  3. Only biodegradable vessels may be used when scattering cremated remains. No other container, urn, or ancillary objects including but not limited to markers, plants, or decorations, may be deposited with the scattered remains. This requirement reduces the potential for unintended distribution of invasive objects or species into the environment.
  4. Cremated remains should be scattered to avoid developed areas or high public activity areas.
  5. Cremated remains should be scattered to avoid the depositing of high concentrations in one location.
  6. If a ceremony is to take place, it should not impede the enjoyment of others in a public setting.
  7. Care should be taken to ensure that cremated remains are not scattered near drinking water intakes or recreational water activities, such as swimming areas.
  8. In some locations and trails, group size limits may apply due to ecological sensitivities. Please note that for large groups wishing to hold ceremonies in a park or protected area, a special event permit may be required.

Source: Alberta Parks

The scattering of cremated remains in Alberta may occur on lands regulated by the province of Alberta (public land), including within public waters, in accordance with Environment and Protected Areas’ Scattering of Cremated Remains in Alberta (Guidelines), and with provincial laws and regulations governing these areas, including the Public Lands Act, the Public Lands Administrative Regulation, the Water Act and the Water Regulations.

Where distribution of cremated remains on vacant public land is undertaken according to Environment and Protected Areas’ Scattering of Cremated Remains in Alberta (Guidelines), no permission is required. If distribution will occur on public land under disposition, permission for access to this land through the disposition holder should be sought.

There may be additional requirements in areas of Alberta regulated by Environment and Protected Areas.

Please contact Environment and Protected Areas for information on permits, group size restrictions and other requirements for Special Events.

For information on scattering ashes in a National Park, please contact Parks Canada.

When scattering ashes within municipal or privately held lands, you must obtain permission from the land owner for access and for scattering of the cremated remains.

Source: Cemeteries Act and Regulations