Category: Stewardship

Eternally Green: Going Electric with a Green Mower and a Blue GEM

July 27, 2017

Over the past few years Mount Auburn has converted four of its eight gasoline powered riding mowers to propane fuel, as part of an effort to improve the efficiency of the mowers and reduce emissions. However, we’ve taken another step towards reducing our carbon footprint by going electric.  Mount Auburn has been purchasing renewable energy credits (RECS) to offset all electricity purchases for several years, but finding quality battery-powered landscaping equipment that could handle Mount Auburn’s terrain and long hours of work has been difficult until now. (more…)

A Conversation with Educator-in-Residence Susan Rauchwerk

July 6, 2017

Mount Auburn is currently partnering with Lesley University thanks to a collaborative two-year grant from the A.J. & M.D. Ruggiero Memorial Trust, to assess the current state of the Cemetery as a wildlife habitat, implement new improvements, and create new opportunities for engaging people on the subject. Already, Lesley researchers have set up studies on site to collect and analyze data on pollinators, ants, bats, birds, air, and water, building upon work that Mount Auburn staff and other consultants have already started here in recent years. A team of educators, in turn, are creating and examining new programs and lessons for student groups based on both these new studies and previously implemented projects from the Cemetery’s Wildlife Action Plan. (more…)

Landscape Management

June 1, 2017

Mount Auburn Cemetery includes 175 acres of rolling hills and dells, 3 ponds and one vernal pool, and a nationally-significant horticultural collection of 5,000 trees (640 different species and cultivars), over 6,000 shrub plantings (600 taxa), and 4,000 groundcover plantings (770 taxa).  As America’s first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in North America, it also a landscape of extreme historic significance that reflects nearly 200 years of changing ideas about horticulture and landscape design. Our current landscape management plan has been shaped by our need to protect this historic landscape while utilizing environmentally sensitive practices. From its efforts to become a “zero waste” landscape to its ongoing work of replacing high-maintenance plants with lower-maintenance and drought-resistant options, Mount Auburn has become a leader among public gardens for its innovative and environmentally-responsible practices. (more…)

Planting for Biodiversity

June 1, 2017

All the planet’s living organisms account for its biodiversity.  When we talk about biodiversity at Mount Auburn, we are referring to all the plants and animals that can be found within our urban wildlife refuge. Our plant community includes 5,000 trees (640 different species and cultivars), 6,000 shrub plantings (600 taxa), 4,000 groundcover plantings (770 taxa). The wildlife populations present at Mount Auburn include aquatic amphibians, reptiles, and fish populations; terrestrial amphibians and reptiles; migratory and breeding birds; urban bat populations; and ants, bees, and other insect pollinators. (more…)