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What is the Council of Visitors?

September 10, 2018

The Council of Visitors (COV) at Mount Auburn Cemetery is an advisory body, comprised of Cemetery friends, leaders in horticulture, landscape enhancement, historic preservation, wildlife, educational programming, as well as community leaders, dedicated to supporting and advancing Mount Auburn’s mission and highest standards of excellence. The Council acts as informed advisors on issues of strategic importance through active membership, and serve as a vital resource by volunteering leadership, expertise, and financial support. COV members also act as ambassadors and promote the interests of Mount Auburn Cemetery nationwide.

Members of the Council of Visitors are selected and invited by Mount Auburn leadership to serve terms of three years. Terms are renewable at the discretion of Mount Auburn leadership. They are selected based on their individual interests, vision, special expertise, and dedication to the advancement of Mount Auburn. A Chairman and a Vice Chairman are elected by Cemetery leadership.

The COV will receive regular reports on recent and upcoming major projects and new initiatives, financial conditions, fundraising reports, strategic plan updates, and other emerging topics. Members are encouraged to comment upon and advise on these and related matters. They are called upon by the Cemetery for informal advice or ad hoc assignments, and are invited to participate in occasional task forces and other special opportunities. While Mount Auburn invites, and welcomes, members’ philanthropic support, there are no giving requirements attached to the Council, nor are there any governance responsibilities.

The COV meets once each year for approximately one-half day in length. On Thursday, October 19, members attended the 6th annual Council of Visitors meeting with keynote speaker Ellen Goodman, award winning journalist and syndicated columnist, who founded “The Conversation Project.” As integral Mount Auburn community leaders, the Council will be invited to all Mount Auburn events, meetings, lectures, exhibits, concerts, and functions.

For more information on the COV or joining this important group of ambassadors, please contact Jenny Gilbert, Director of Institutional Advancement at 617-607-1970 or




Council of Visitors

September 7, 2018

Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Council of Visitors is comprised of Cemetery friends, leaders in horticulture, historic preservation, educational programming, landscape enhancement, and community leaders who support the Cemetery in accomplishing its mission and maintaining the highest standards of excellence.  Learn more about the Council of Visitors.

Mount Auburn Cemetery Council of Visitors 2018

Caroline Mortimer, Co-Chair

Franklin A. Reece III, Co-Chair

John Airasian, Founding Member

Jane M. Carroll, Founding Member

Susan W. Paine, Founding Member

Helen Abrams

Rowena Alston

Peter W. Ambler

Melissa Banta

Elizabeth E. Barker

Claude L. Benoit

Stephanie Berk

Willa C. Bodman

Virginia J. Brady

Joanna H. Breyer

Lucinda A. Brockway

Eliza E. Burden

W.D. Burden

Sharon Bushnell

Patricia Capone

Suzanne S. Carlson

William C. Clendaniel

Elizabeth D. Coxe

Peter Del Tredici

Brian Dolan

Suzanne R. Dworsky

Alan J. Dworsky

Suzanne W. Dworsky

Alan Emmet

Peter Falb

Karen Falb

G.D. Forney

Philip V. Gerdine

Elizabeth M. Goodfellow Zagoroff

Patricia N. Grandieri

Robert J. Gustavson

Craig C. Halvorson

Eileen A. Harrington

Jonathan Hecht

John F. Hemenway

Peter Hiam

Luisa Hunnewell

Nora Huvelle

Bruce A. Irving

Laura A. Johnson

Wendall C. Kalsow

Joseph Koerner

Clare W. Leslie

Jane B. Levitt

Lauren MacCarthy

Joe Martinez

Brooks Mathewson

Julie M. Messervy

Roberto Mighty

Kyra L. Montagu

Marian Morash

Russell Morash

Keith N. Morgan

Susan Morris

Anthony Morris

Karen W. Mueller

H. Betsy Munzer

Mark K. Nichols

Aaron Olmstead

Denise Pappas

Erik C. Park

Richard B. Peiser

Wayne R. Petersen

Donald H. Pfister

Stephen Pinkerton

Frances G. Pratt

Patricia R. Pratt

Harold I. Pratt

Frances G. Pratt

Nancy Rappaport

Marilyn Richardson

David J. Russo

Alison Sander

Oliver C. Scholle

Julia Sheehan

E.D. Simmons

Sherley G. Smith

Rosemarie C. Smurzynski

James M. Storey

Patricia L. Straus

Robert H. Stymeist

Ruth Thomasian

Claudia G. Thompson

Kate Thompson

Charles Tracy

Pamela W. Turner

Elizabeth A. Vizza

Matthew R. Walter

Mariana S. Webb

Louise E. Weed

Jason Weeks

Charlie Welch

Richard H. Willis

Rosemary Wilson

G.E. Wylde

Annual Report

September 1, 2018

Mount Auburn’s Annual Report, published each September, is a summary of the institution’s major accomplishments and financial activities from the most recently completed fiscal year.

April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018

Annual Report FY 2018

April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017

Annual Report FY 2017

April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016

Annual Report FY 2016

April 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015

Annual Report FY2015

April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014

Annual Report FY2014

Fall Warblers

August 25, 2018
Yellow-rumped Warbler In Rhododendron by Brooks Mathewson

Yellow-rumped Warbler in Rhododendron by Brooks Mathewson

Roger Tory Peterson was the first to coin the phrase” Confusing Fall Warblers” in his Field Guide To the Birds first published in 1934 and devoted separate pages depicting those birds and pointing with arrows the significant points to look for during the fall migration.

John Dunn in his Field Guide to Warblers of North America (Peterson Field Guide Series-1997) states: “Despite the fearsome concept of “confusing fall warblers” the identification is generally straightforward given adequate views”. Before fall migration, many species of warblers lose their bright and distinctive spring plumage and molt into duller or drab colors for the winter months.

So how does the new birder identify warblers in the fall? First remember that there are basic features such as wing bars that help to identify the warbler in any plumage, then there is habitat preference, the Common Yellowthroat likes marsh and other wet habitats; the Wilson’s and Canada warblers tend to be found low in thick shrubbery and many others prefer the tops of trees- exactly like they do in the spring. Watch for distinctive behavior: the American Redstart always fans its tail, the Palm and Prairie warblers raise their tails. Warblers rarely sing in the fall so you need to familiarize the call notes or chips they make, this is a bit more difficult but it easy to start with the Yellow-rump’s fairly distinctive loud “check” call.

Here at Mount Auburn you won’t see the multitude of birders that “flock” to the Cemetery each spring. It is quite frustrating to see birds at this time of the year, remember they don’t sing, rarely make any noise, and are hard to detect in fully leafed out trees. Birders tend to look for fall migrants at coastal locations where trees are shorter and have been known as costal traps, as birds tend to follow the coast line in fall. The good thing is that fall migration is more leisurely, starting as early as July and continuing right up to the first days of December.

In the fall, birders at Mount Auburn should concentrate around the ponds, I’ve had the best results at Auburn Lake, lots of low shrubs, and easy access to get a drink- essential for the migrating warblers. Though most warblers are strictly insect eaters, some – especially the Yellow -rumped – will also eat seeds, and the black-eyed susans and cone flowers at Auburn Lake are ideal for them in late summer, as well as the Sweet Bay Magnolia which also attracts both warblers and other birds to its flowers.

During the fall migration the Mount Auburn birder has the opportunity to find a few species that are rarely encountered in the spring. The Connecticut Warbler is one of the most sought after species by birders in the fall, though not the most ideal location, look for it in the Cemetery around the ponds or up by the wildflower meadow at the Tower. The other bird that has appeared more often in the fall is the Yellow-breasted Chat- again look for it in similar locations. One rare fall warbler visitor to Mount Auburn was a Black-throated Gray Warbler which was present from September 27 through October 2, 2000, and brought back with it many of the spring birders.