Special Projects

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The Friends of Mount Auburn is currently raising funds to support a number of the Cemetery’s special projects and initiatives. Learn more below:

Asa Gray Garden

Ecological Education and Biodiversity Studies
Horticultural Collections

Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration
Washington Tower Preservation


Mount Auburn has a long history of inspiring art and creativity, ever since the nineteenth century.

Since 2014, our two-year Artist-in-Residence program has supported the creation of new work by a contemporary artist inspired by their in-depth experience at Mount Auburn. This continues a long tradition of visitors experiencing our landscape as an outdoor museum as well as a place of burial.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have temporarily restructured the program for 2021 to offer a small series of grants to local artists to produce work inspired by Mount Auburn. We are excited to have the opportunity to support our creative community in new ways this year, and will announce works and programs in the coming months.

Also in 2021, we welcome back playwright Patrick Gabridge (our 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence), whose staged reading Moonlight Abolitionists will be performed under the light of the full moon later in 2021, when it is safe to bring audiences together again.

Please help us present Moonlight Abolitionists and support the costs of hiring six local equity actors who will perform the piece! Your gift to our Artist-in-Residence program this year will be doubled by The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust.

Learn more about our Artist-in-Residence Program >>
Support our Artist-in-Residence Program >>


Asa Gray Garden

Have you visited the new Asa Gray Garden?

We celebrated the official completion of the redesigned garden in June 2018, after a year of extensive renovations. The space has been open for the public’s use and enjoyment ever since. This ambitious project would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors.

You can still make a big difference in this beautiful garden! While the renovation is complete, we are raising funds to support the crucial landscaping and maintenance work that is still ahead of us. It is this often-overlooked work that will ensure that the new plants are properly established, helping Asa Gray Garden to flourish in the coming years.

Learn more about Asa Gray Garden >>
Support Asa Gray Garden >>
Contact us to learn about naming opportunities >>


Citizen Science training

Birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, pollinators, and more – have you spotted any of these at Mount Auburn?

Mount Auburn’s 175 acres of green space make it an important wildlife refuge in the densely built-up Boston area. Today, the Cemetery has become a living laboratory for scientists studying how best to support and improve the habitat for a variety of species in this urban ecosystem, as well as reintroducing several native amphibian and reptile populations.

We also offer educational opportunities for community members of all ages to learn more about biodiversity and get involved in our habitat work through our Citizen Science Naturalist Program.

Please support our ecology education programs and help make our urban refuge a thriving habitat for this incredible diversity of wildlife. Your gift will fund the consulting scientists and educators who study our habitat and lead our Citizen Science Naturalist program.

Learn more about our Wildlife Action Plan >>
Support our Ecological Education and Biodiversity Studies >>


Flowers in front of monument

Wherever you walk in our landscape, our horticultural collections make it special.

Since its founding in 1831 by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Mount Auburn has been maintained with the highest regard for horticultural excellence. Today, our landscape is an accredited arboretum and botanical garden, featuring a nationally-significant collection of more than 5,000 trees and 10,000 shrubs and groundcover plants. Our collection is also as much a study of landscape designs as it is a diverse array of plants.

Help our staff care for this world-class collection and keep it beautiful for everyone who visits. Your support also makes possible all of the behind-the-scenes research, cataloging, and design work that allows us to expand the collection across the Cemetery.

Learn more about our horticultural collections >>
Support our horticultural collections >>


Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration - replanted slopes

Already beloved by birdwatchers and history enthusiasts alike, Indian Ridge is being raised to new levels in our latest habitat project.

After years of planning, Mount Auburn has undertaken a three-year project to restore the landscape along Indian Ridge, one of our oldest and most iconic areas. With more than 15,000 new plants, the project will improve wildlife habitat and biological diversity, replace invasive plants with native ones, and enhance the beauty of the site for visitors. Indian Ridge will also connect with other areas in our landscape that we have already restored to bring us closer to our long-term goal of creating an extensive wildlife corridor across the Cemetery.

Please help us make our vision for Indian Ridge a reality! Your gift will support the costs of these new plantings, plus special care in the critical early years to ensure that the landscape is established.

Learn more about Indian Ridge >>
Support the Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration >>


Washington Tower

If there’s one spot people are most likely to remember about Mount Auburn, it’s Washington Tower. At 62-feet tall, the Tower provides a spectacular view of the Boston skyline, and has been one of the most beloved features in our landscape ever since it was built in 1854.

Today, the Tower is in need of preservation. If we want to guarantee that we can keep it open to the public for another century, it will require major work.

Thanks to generous support from grants and individual gifts, we were able to complete a preservation assessment of the Tower last year. Working with McGinley Kalsow & Associates as project architect, and Structures North Consulting Engineers as consulting structural engineer, we now have a complete assessment, options for repair and improvements, and estimated budgets to support planning for restoration of this iconic structure.

The 2020 assessment has shown that there is significant work to be done on the Tower’s masonry. Fortunately, its large blocks of Quincy granite are extremely durable. However, as water has worked its way into the walls from upward-facing joints at the top of the Tower, the stones have shifted – creating opportunities for water to get in. Stopping this cycle of deterioration will require dismantling the top quarter of the Tower and rebuilding it using the existing granite. Additionally, the wood tracery windows will be repaired or reconstructed, new lighting installed, and safety improvements made to the stair rail. Finally, the architect presented potential conceptual plans for increasing the accessibility of the site, including a graded path and handicap parking along the road. Stay tuned for more updates on the launch of this major preservation initiative!

Learn more about Washington Tower >>
Support the preservation of Washington Tower >>

For further information, please contact:

Jenny Gilbert, Director of Institutional Advancement

Due to the COVID-19 situation, there will be delays in processing donations and sending print receipts and membership cards while our staff is working remotely. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Our staff is continuing to reply to inquiries during this time, so please contact us at pschlaht@mountauburn.org with questions. Thank you for your support and understanding during this unprecedented time, and for being part of the Friends of Mount Auburn. 


Support one of Mount Auburn’s current special projects using the form below.

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