Category: Stewardship

Eternally Green: Mount Auburn Security Team Wins the 2017 Mount Auburn Cemetery Green Teamwork Prize

January 9, 2018

The Green Teamwork Prize recognizes sustainability in collaborative work at Mount Auburn.  The basic premise for the prize is to acknowledge our staff who are working together on short-term special projects, or long-term tasks, that incorporate sustainability into the creation and implementation of their work.

In 2016, the Mount Auburn IT department won for their tremendous job coordinating, staffing, and promoting our annual electronic recycling event.  This year eight teams of staff were nominated, including groups as small as four staff and as large as fifteen.  The Education & Engagement Working Group reviewed every nomination on December 7th and voted for this year’s winner.  The winning team was announced at our annual Service Awards event on December 12, 2017.  The winners will receive a free lunch with Mount Auburn President Dave Barnett at a restaurant of their choosing.

Willie Torres, Alberto Parker, Andrew Rotch, and Jim Hynes make up the Mount Auburn Security team.  They are all hard working, dependable, and courteous.  The following reasons sum up why the security team was chosen for the 2017 Green Teamwork Prize:

Turf Protection Police – The security team politely enforces vehicle parking rules to protect new and existing turf areas.

Grounds Safety Team – Visitors and staff can depend on the security team to quickly respond to health and safety issues, as well as to conduct regular observational rounds to protect monuments, structures, floral tributes, garden spaces, waterbodies, and wildlife.

Trash and Recycling Agents – The security team never fails to stop and pickup waste anywhere on the grounds and deposit it in proper trash or recycling receptacles.

Nuisance Wildlife Defense Squad – The security team will operate remote control boats in our waterbodies and set out coyote replicas to ward off Canada Geese.  They also communicate with our Superintendent and staff from Taking Flight Goose Control to coordinate wild turkey control through the harassment and hazing of border collies.

Wildlife Photographers – Photographs by the security team have been incorporated into presentations by staff from many departments of Mount Auburn, including the iconic American toad photo by Andrew Rotch that visitors adore.

Educational Tour Guides – Alberto Parker leads bird walks and answers wildlife questions every year.

Biodiversity Research Assistants – The security team assists researchers with their gear, and also provides valuable insights regarding wildlife and the landscape of Mount Auburn that are important in the implementation of projects every year.

Stewardship Ambassadors – The security team answers visitor and lot owner questions and concerns and promotes our efforts to protect wildlife and habitat.  They are true ambassadors of Mount Auburn.

Thank you for all the great nominations this year and for all the hard work by staff to make Mount Auburn a safer, healthier, and more sustainable environment for all of our staff and visitors.  Congratulations to Willie, Alberto, Andrew, and Jim.  You are a great team!

Climate-Adaptive Emergent Zone Planting Project to Improve Aquatic Habitat Resiliency

November 28, 2017

Mount Auburn has three ponds and a vernal pool within its 175 acre, urban footprint. Each water body provides habitat important for wildlife health and success. Halcyon Lake provides breeding ground for the American Toad (Bufo americanus), which after being absent from the cemetery for more than three decades, has been successfully reintroduced. A healthy, breeding population of this native amphibian now exists at Mount Auburn. Auburn Lake supports a healthy population of the native Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Willow Pond provides excellent fishing ground for the native Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). Lastly, the vernal pool at Consecration Dell provides breeding habitat for another native species, the Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). Of course, habitat at each water body supports significantly more wildlife as well. Protection of habitat is an important piece of the cemetery’s institutional mission to be good stewards of the environment. (more…)

The Ants of Mount Auburn Cemetery: Citizen Scientists Help Document Insect Biodiversity

October 27, 2017

By Amy Mertl

If you visited Mount Auburn Cemetery this summer, and were not in a hurry to climb the Washington Tower or sneak a peek at an owl’s nest, you may have lingered by the entrance way and noticed a somewhat out of place brown filing cabinet. If your curiosity was aroused and you peeked inside, you would have found not papers and folders but instead mini-coolers full of tiny plastic bags, each one containing a sheet of paper, a pencil, and two plastics tubes: one full of Pecan Sandie crumbs and one full of Spam. And you may have thought to yourself, what the heck is all this about? (more…)