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…)
Mount Auburn Cemetery attracts over 200,000 visitors per year, and they visit for many different reasons. Families and friends come to pay tribute to loved ones every day, as we continue to do about 500 new burials per year. Others come to enjoy the beautiful landscape, the magnificent trees, the birds and other wildlife, or the amazing collection of funerary art and architecture. Many attend our educational programs and tours, and still others come to study history and learn about the notable residents of Mount Auburn. Some do all of the above.
It is the diverse collection of over 5,000 spectacular trees that no doubt attracts many people to the Cemetery. Nevertheless, it is the combination of the topography, the plants, the wildlife and the monuments and other built structures that make Mount Auburn the unique landscape and National Historic Landmark that it is.
To visit Mount Auburn Cemetery was a very special opportunity. This is a place my husband and I returned to time and again while I was a Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT, living just down the road on Memorial Drive, and wanting some peace and quiet. We would come up on late summer and autumn evenings, while the crickets were still singing their mesmerizing incantations and enjoy the long, slanting afternoon light.
I remember in particular one evening at the end of August, just before closing, the transfixing beauty of a full moon rising over this repository of community memory, the trees hold memory too, as does the land. (more…)
Official trailer for Roberto Mighty’s earth.sky – a new media project about the Cemetery that combines film, historic voices, layered design, and music.
In earth.sky, audiences experience a uniquely emotional, historical journey through breathtaking landscape cinematography, high-fidelity audio, music, and photography, while hearing the inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking and often uplifting words of individuals interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery from its inception to today. As Mighty describes it “earth.sky is not about death. It is about living people. People who once walked the earth as we now do. People who live on in the memories of others.”