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Md. residents seek to create America's first 'scatter garden' for cremated remains

A city park in Takoma Park, Md. (Photo: WJLA)

TAKOMA PARK, Md. (AP) -- As cremation rates in the U.S. continue to soar, a group of Maryland residents are seeking a permanent space where people can have their remains scattered.

The Washington Post reports Jennifer Beman and her Takoma Park neighbors are asking their city to create the country's first public "scatter garden," where residents' remains would be freely scattered and where families could return to remember.

Beman, who presented the idea to the City Council this fall, envisions using one of the city's existing gardens and creating a wall for names on plaques.

Data shows cremations climbed from a quarter of deaths in 2000 to almost 49 percent in 2015. Barbara Kemmis, head of the Cremation Association of North America, estimates a third of families scatter remains out in the world.

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