Category: Stewardship

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…)

STEAM Beans and Ecological Education at Mount Auburn Cemetery

September 26, 2017

As part of a two-year educational partnership with Lesley University, Mount Auburn Cemetery has engaged a group of scientists coordinated by an “Educator-in-Residence” from Lesley to conduct research on urban bats, ants, pollinators, and biodiversity surveys here, and to use this research to create self-led tours and lessons for small(ish) groups of K-12 students based on our Wildlife Action Plan. This year’s A.J. & M.D. Ruggiero Memorial Trust Educator-in-Residence, Associate Professor Susan Rauchwerk, is currently engaging youth groups in the creation of science-based activities and materials that can be used as educational tools to learn about wildlife habitats, ecology, and conservation at Mount Auburn. One of the participating youth groups is the Cambridge-based STEAM Beans, a Cambridge-based educational program developed by African American women for young African American girls and their families, which is serving as an education consultant piloting a variety of activities through 2018. (more…)

Eternally Green: Cemetery Preservation Craftsman Moonlights as Curator of The Somerville Flea

August 5, 2017

by Greg Ghazil, Preservation Craftsman, Mount Auburn Cemetery

I like old stuff, that much is clear.  Monday through Friday I deal with the trials and tribulations that come with keeping the thousands of monuments at Mount Auburn from succumbing to nature, gravity and the passage of time.  Every Sunday from June to October I spend in a Somerville city parking lot curating an open-air vintage and artisan market.

While studying preservation at the North Bennet Street School I was forced to look for old and hard to find hand tools in antique markets all around New England.  I fell in love with the chase but moreover, the markets.  I wondered why Boston didn’t have an outdoor vintage or antique market and set out to change that.  Six years later, I find myself pursuing two of my passions and couldn’t be busier…or more content. (more…)