Community Events at Penn Forest



Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to have the most up-to-date information on upcoming events.



Nature Walk & Talk – Saturday, August 6th 2022 at 10am

Join us on August 6th at 10am for another walk & talk with local naturalist, Scott Hill! We will meet at the main parking lot and head over to the hiking trail from there. See what our woods have to offer during the summer months including edible plants and (hopefully) interesting fungi. There will also be a small focus on smells – like spicebush and hay-scented ferns. Our hiking trail is about two thirds of a mile long and there are some steep hills along the way. This event is great for kids, adults, and everyone in between.

Please email Maria at to register and let us know how many people will be in your group. We will be capping the walk at 25 people. We hope to see you there! 




Yoga with Goats – Saturday, May 14th 2022 at 3pm
The goats request your forgiveness for a shaky start to the season. However, due to a scheduling snafu, the goats won’t be able to come out and play with you until 3pm Saturday May 14, 2022. Our wonderful Shepherdess and amazing Yoga Teacher are in agreement that the goats are in charge, and we’ll do our best to accommodate the little rascals. After all, what’s Yoga With Goats without the goats? We’ll do our best to make this class extra special for you
If you can’t make it at 3pm this Saturday, please choose another class to attend at Be sure to check often as we’ll be adding classes all summer and into the fall. Be sure to tell your friends.
-The Crew at Returning Home Farm






2022 Summer Solstice Festival – Tuesday, June 21 2022, 3-8pm – The Meadow at Penn Forest Natural Burial Park (Remembrance Ceremony at 3pm)

**While this event is free, we do ask that everyone please register on eventbrite, details listed below**
A great day for the young and young at heart, families, and children!
Join us during our 2022 Summer Solstice Festival, hosted by Spiritworks and Penn Forest. Enjoy the sun that shines on each being on planet earth. Join with people of centuries past in this midsummer celebration. Solstice (Latin: “solstitium”) means “sun-stopping,” because it is the point where the sun appears to rise and set – and stops moving northward and starts moving southward. It is the longest day of the year.
The Remembrance Ceremony sponsored by VITAS Healthcare begins promptly at 3:00 p.m. honoring those who have died due to COVID-19 and other causes. We will unite in meaningful rituals and the music of Eucalyptus. Come write and fly a white flag of remembrance in honor of your loved ones and those we’ve lost to COVID-19. Rich Fitzgerald, county executive, will be our keynote speaker offering words of comfort and compassion.
Performers on the Main Stage include:
Steel City Ukeleles
Aspinwall Drum Circle with Special Guests
Eucalyptus’ eclectic music
The Hawthornes
Listen to the vocal offerings of Ted Brown with his guitar
Purchase a bite to eat from Revival Chili Food Truck, with a variety of beverages to please the whole family, and top it off with Millie’s Ice Cream Truck.
-Create your own flower crown to wear
-Paint a Kindness Rock to take and plant in your own neighborhood
-Face painting and dress up costumes
-Write and fly your summer wishes and intentions into the wind
-Walk the 40-foot labyrinth
-Make a beaded creation
-Get your picture taken with one of the chickens!
-Join in meditation and yoga
-Visit the Farm’s sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, and donkey
-Create a unique photo image with Memories into More
-Hike the trail or walk the peaceful grounds
For more information:
Volunteer help wanted!
Want to be part of the event? All of our performers and helpers are VOLUNTEERS. This is how this community endeavour can be offered FREE. Are you able to lend a hand for 2 hours or more? Are you able to sponsor one of the arts or crafts? Email Tricia:
While this event is free to everyone, we will accept donations.
For Donations, visit…/spiritworks-center-for… and search “Summer Solstice” or visit and search “Summer Solstice” to register. 





Nature Walk & Talk – Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at 2:00pm

Join us for our second nature walk & talk of the season!
Join us at Penn Forest on Saturday, April 30th at 2:00pm to learn about what our local forests have to offer. Naturalist Scott Hill will be leading the walk again. We will keep our eyes out for more native spring wildflowers, edible plants, and fungi. Our hiking trails are about two thirds of a mile long and there are some steep hills along the way. 
If you’d like to join us, please email Maria at to register. We will be capping this event at 25 people. Hope to see you there!






Nature Walk & Talk – Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 10:00am

Penn Forest Natural Burial Park is hosting our first nature walk & talk of the season!
Join us at Penn Forest on Saturday, April 2nd at 10:00am to learn about what our local forests have to offer. Our first walk will be focused mainly on spring wildflower identification, as well as foraging for edible in-season plants and mushrooms.
People of all ages and experience levels are welcome to join. Our hiking trails are about two thirds of a mile long and there are some steep hills along the way. If you are interested, or have any questions, please contact Samantha Jocuns at 724-900-3872 or by email at
(If the weather is less than ideal, we plan to have the backup date be Sunday, April 3rd at 2:30pm. Keep an eye out on our Events page on our website and also our Facebook page for any updates!





2021 Winter Solstice Illumination Remembrance – at Penn Forest Natural Burial Park (121 Colorado St. Verona, PA 15147) on December 21st from 5:00-8:00pm

Honor the legacy and memories of loved ones who are no longer in your life at a touching winter solstice ceremony sponsored by VITAS, a Greater Pittsburgh hospice care provider, Spiritworks, and Penn Forest Natural Burial Park.

Light a candle in memory of a loved one who died. Join fellow mourners at sunset to walk along the path of 100 luminaries and enjoy music and an outdoor fire circle to honor those who have gone on before us with the burning of a Yule log. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or wassail and live music by the acoustic guitars of The Hawthorns.

During these difficult times, lighting the way to the future acknowledges your loss. Even through the toughest times, the support of friends and neighbors can offer comfort when it’s needed most. 

This free event is open to the public. CDC Guidelines will be followed.

RSVP to Tricia at or 412-799-2123 or by clicking here.





Green Burial Talk – with Sunday Assembly Pittsburgh at Community Forge in Wilkinsburg (1256 Franklin Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15221) 

UPDATE – This talk was originally scheduled for October 17th at 6pm but was canceled due to poor weather. The talk will be rescheduled for a different date. Once we know the new date and time, we’ll update it here. 

We will meet in the lot west of the building, and you can park in the lot east of the building. Please be sure to wear a mask. 





2021 Green Burial Council Conference: Green Life, Death, and Future – October 25th at 7:30pm via Zoom 

Laura, Maria, and Mary Ann (from The Forest Conservation Burial Ground in Oregon who apprenticed with us last year) will be presenting at the Green Burial Council’s annual conference this year. 

Our presentation is titled Green Future: The Next Generation of Deathcare Workers. We will explore the changing face of after-deathcare with an influx of young professionals who have diverse identities and backgrounds. We will share our personal experiences and national demographics that will lead to discussions on strategies for inclusion, the importance of mentoring, and managing for change.  If you’d like to watch our presentation, you can register on the Green Burial Council’s website by clicking here.





Oakmont Fall Festival – October 30th 10am – 3pm

Oakmont is having their Fall Festival on October 30th from 10am – 3pm. There will be fun activities, delicious food, and several vendors set up. We will have a booth set up where you can get your picture taken in our coffin and with our skeleton mascot, Jasper!





Green Burial Talk – Mt. Lebanon Public Library on December 1st from 7:00-8:30pm

This will likely be a virtual Zoom presentation. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Laura at or by phone at 724-612-2492. 





Summer Solstice Festival – June 20, 2021, 4-7 pm

About this Event

It’s the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. A time for revelry steeped in local culture and history. Come enjoy the sun that shines within each being on planet Earth and join with people of centuries past in this midsummer celebration for the young and young at heart, families and children. Join Spiritworks and Penn Forest in celebrating the solstice at Penn Forest on Sunday, June 20th from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for this free community event.

For more information:, or to register (which will help with our planning) go to:

(This is an outdoor event and will take place rain or shine. All attendees are required to follow present COVID state and county guidelines at the time of the event such as wearing masks and keeping proper social distancing from other unrelated parties).





Winter Solstice Illumination Remembrance Gathering – December 21, 2020, 5:00 pm

Amid music and drums at the outdoor yule log circle, we will raise our candles for love, hope and healing.

About this Event

Join with VITAS Healthcare, Spiritworks, and Penn Forest for a Winter Solstice Time of Remembrance and Light

Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a time to remember what has passed and celebrate the light to come. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from

 the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel. Begin the observance at 5:00 p.m., by following the path of 100 luminaries.  Amid music and drums we will enjoy the outdoor fire circle, bringing to mind those who have moved on to the unseen realm, and burning a Yule log to mark the day. Then, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or wassail.

**To contribute to good works in the new solar year participants are asked to bring canned food that will be contributed to the local food pantry.

(This is an outdoor event and will take place rain or shine. All attendees are required to follow present COVID state and county guidelines at the time of the event such as wearing masks and keeping proper social distancing from other unrelated parties. The number of attendees is limited, so pre-registration on eventbrite is required. Please check back the week of the event in case of cancelation).






Funeral, Burial, Memorial Officiant Certification Program. March 27, 28, & 29

Fewer and fewer people have a religious affiliation nor a pastor, rabbi, imam or other
faith-based professional to help them in their grief and officiate at end-of-life events.
 This is why those who feel called to the work are now being invited to step forward to fill
this needed compassionate service.

The curriculum covers:  

  • Articulating the Value of the Funeral
  • YOU as the Facilitator
  • Listening Skills
  • Family Meetings
  • Making it Personal
  • Service Planning
  • Creating Sacred Space
  • Writing the Service
  • Being Mindful of Many Traditions
  • Music and Readings Resources
  • Composing the Service in Printed Form
  • Closing Ceremonies
  • Creating and Facilitating Rituals and Ceremonies
  • Encouraging Participation
  • Presentation Skills
  • Reflections on the Occasion or Meditation 
  • Biography, Life Story, Slide Show, or Video
  • Remembrances from Family and Friends
  • Closing Words, Prayer, Blessing, Benediction


Friday and Saturday:  Beacon Hill Community Room, Beacon Hill Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15221 

Sunday: Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, Verona, PA


Friday:  5:30PM – 8:30PM

Saturday: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Sunday:  9:00AM – 1:00PM

To complete the certification process:

  • Co-facilitate as an officiant from start to completion. 
  • Demonstrate proficiency by officiating at two services as primary facilitator while under observation. 
  • Meet for a final one-on-one to discern readiness.  
  • Compose and submit photo and article for Spiritworks Officiant Listing 


To register submit:  

  • Resume containing your complete contact information.
  • Written statement as to why you wish to be certified as an Officiant.
  • Registration commitment fee of $50.00.

The event URL is

or send check directly to Spiritworks, INC.

  • The remaining $200 is due 2 weeks before class.
  • Total for the Class: $250  

Submit Materials to:

Patricia D. Brown, Director of Spiritworks, Inc.


7282 Beacon Hill Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15221




Winter Solstice Celebration. Come join us at sunset on Winter Solstice on Saturday, December 21, at 4:55 p.m.

Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years.  This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light.  In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.

We’ll begin the observance at 4:55 p.m. by following the path of lights to our circle of light.  Amid music and drums, enjoy the outdoor fire circle, burning a Yule log to mark the day and to remember those who have gone on before us.  It will be a time of both remembrance and celebration.

To begin the new solar year with a good work, participants are asked to bring canned food that will be contributed to the local food pantry.





Forest Bathing and QiGong.  Saturday November 2, 2019, 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm.

We will be hosting a forest bathing and qigong worksop on November 2, 2019, with Moshe Sherman.  Forest bathing is a meditative practice that was developed in Japan as a way to balance the stress of modern urban life by immersing ourselves in the forest environment.

In Japanese, the name for this practice us Shin-rin Yoku, which translates as “bringing in the forest energy.”  To help assist the process of “bringing in the energy,” we will practice simple movement and breathing exercises known as Qigong (Chee-Gong).

Moshe will also provide individual Qigong sessions to those interested at a cost of $10-$20 on a sliding scale.

Moshe Sherman has lived in Pittsburgh for over 20 years.  Since 2016, he has been a practicing Medical Qigong Therapist at Cloud Gate Pittsburgh in Edgewood.  He has been teaching Qigong and forest bathing in Frick Park for over three years and looks forward to the event in November.





Fall Memorial Tree and Shrub Planting 2019.  Saturday October 19, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Our annual tree and shrub planting is fast approaching.  If you would like to plant a tree or shrub in someone’s memory or just because, this is a great time to do it!  This is a wonderful way to help us reforest the land here at Penn Forest.  We have a great selection of trees and shrubs from our local nursery.  Email or call Laura to get the order form: and 724 612 2492.  Orders due by 10/11/2019.





Death Café at Penn Forest.  Sunday July 21, 2:00 pm.

A Death Café is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives
or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling

Please bring a chair and a hand-held dessert or snack to share if you wish. We
will start gathering at 1:30 and start the event promptly at 2:00 pm.
Afterwards, from about 3:30 to 4:30 for those interested in staying, there will be
a meditation labyrinth walk using Penn Forest’s 40’ x 40’ outdoor labyrinth.
Rain date is the following Sunday, July 28, same times.