Join us at the Down to Earth Fair – Saturday, April 20, 2024

Published on April 9, 2024

Join us at the Down to Earth Fair Saturday, April 20, 9am-5pm
Event to Feature Practical Advice from Expert Gardeners and End-of-Life Planners

You can dig into gardening and planting tips with environmental caretakers, while financial and care experts tend to your end-of-life preplanning with practical advice that offers peace of mind. It’s all happening at the Down to Earth Fair on Saturday, April 20, from 9am-5pm at Whispering Hills Natural Green Cemetery and Memorial Nature Preserve, 3550 Mooty Bridge Road in LaGrange.

The Down to Earth Fair is open to the public and will feature tours, tabletop exhibits, and presentations by expert conservationists, gardeners, estate planners, transition care and hospice providers, and real estate and funeral services advisors, as part of Whispering Hills’ third anniversary celebration on Earth Day weekend.

Whispering Hills is a natural cemetery at the heart of a 140-acre memorial nature preserve featuring a forest, streams, horses, pastures, walking and riding trails, and flower-filled meadows.

Ashley Desensi of the Native Plant Coalition will kick off the event’s speaker series with an informative presentation on plant conservation at 11am. Tours of Whispering Hills will be available throughout the day from 9am-5pm, and lunch will be offered from 12:00pm-1:00pm, when the estate planning and end-of-life preplanning sessions begin.

Most Georgians believe estate planning and arranging their own funerals is very important, but only 33% of adults across the state and the U.S. have documented their end-of-life plans.

Estate planner Daniel Campen claims getting your end-of-life preplanning completed is “an important act of love.” Campen will discuss holistic estate and end-of-life planning during the Down to Earth event at Whispering Hills.

“It brings me so much joy when clients have completed a comprehensive estate and end-of-life plan and walk out of my office with a sense of peace and calm,” Campen explained. “They know they’ve done everything they can to ease the planning burden on family members when they’re gone. When that time comes, their loved ones can truly focus on grieving instead of planning.”

Ashley Desensi will explore native plant conservation at the Down to Earth Fair

Daniel Campen will share the same end-of-life planning tips he has in place for his family.

Linda and Tom Golden of Perry, Georgia had been thinking about making their end-of-life plans official for years. Linda’s 70 th birthday was the motivation she needed to get their wills, trusts, and funeral plans finalized. The couple visited Whispering Hills several times and ultimately decided to purchase future natural burials. They secured spaces for themselves and their daughter Regena and son-in-law Brad, both in their early 50s, in the flower-filled meadow on the edge of a forest.

Linda & Tom Golden selected future natural burials as part of their end-of-life planning.

“We’re excited to have our end-of-life planning complete, and we’re so at peace to know our plans will be followed just like we want them to be,” Linda Golden explained. “We did our research, talked with our children and family about everything from financials to funerals, and feel blessed to have such an incredibly beautiful final resting place so close to home. We have peace of mind after getting these decisions behind us, and now my sister and some of our other kids are thinking more seriously about it too.”

Of the 100-plus families who’ve secured a final resting place at Whispering Hills, nearly three out of four are for future use. “People in the 30-80 age range are choosing a beautiful final resting place here as part of their end-of-life preplanning,” explained Ralph Howard, managing partner of Whispering Hills. “And the Down to Earth Fair will offer resources and guidance to help you make these important choices that will ease the planning burden on your loved ones later.”

Estate Planning & Transition Care

Campen was inspired to dedicate his Tyrone-based law practice solely to estate planning when he saw his dad struggling with the tough decisions and planning required when his mom needed nursing home care and ultimately funeral arrangements made on her behalf.

“The last thing we wanted to be doing when my mom died was planning a funeral. Friends stepped in to help with the service that my mom would’ve loved, but how much better would it have been if she had made those decisions herself,” explained Campen, who’s looking forward to sharing his holistic estate plan approach at the Down to Earth Fair.

“Everyone’s end-of-life plan should include all the appropriate legal documents, from healthcare directives and powers of attorney to financials, wills and funeral plans,” he outlined. “But at the end of the day, those are just pieces of paper. An end-of-life plan is a truly caring activity that you need to share with the people who will help ensure your goals and wishes are fulfilled once you’re gone.”

Real estate expert Ray Evans, with Element Home Loans in Newnan, will show fair attendees how they can empower their golden years. “We can enter the later season of our life with more confidence than we think, because we have more options to keep control of our lives than we know,” Evans explained. “I will share some down to Earth empowerment tools.”

Kim Poer, transition care provider, will speak at the Down to Earth Fair.

Everyone is going to go through the transition of life and death, and it’s often met with fear and concern. But it doesn’t have to be, according to Kim Poer, a death doula or non-medical assistant who helps people, along with their families, go through the transition in ways that are most meaningful to them.

“The end-of-life phase could last three weeks, three months, even three years. It’s an opportunity to have a death doula or hospice nurse provide care and comfort that can extent lives significantly and meaningfully,” explained Poer, the owner of Grace Transitions in Villa Rica. Poer provides end-of-life transition support to individuals and families throughout West Georgia and will speak at the event on April 20. “That extra time can be spent with family and friends, sharing memories, stories, and laughter. It is often an enriching experience for people to enjoy the last chapter in their life on Earth in ways they never did before.”

For more information about Whispering Hills and the Down to Earth Fair, visit or Whispering Hills on Facebook or call 706-884-7435.

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