Help us Complete Phase 3, Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration

April 21, 2022

This spring and summer of 2022, we are excited to undertake the third and final phase of our ambitious Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration. Read on to learn what to expect this year, and how you can help us complete this transformative project!

If you have visited in the past two years, you may have noticed our earlier work underway, focused on creating plant communities that would provide both aesthetic and habitat value. Our staff and contractors removed invasive species like Norway Maples from the Ridge and the slopes below it. Replacing them with native shrubs and white-flowered Silverbell trees not only brought a more cohesive aesthetic to the area, but also improved habitat resources for resident and migratory birds.

While we have made substantial progress, we still have many areas of plain turf grass in between the replanted sections. We also need to replace the path along the Ridge – currently narrow, damaged in many spots, and made of non-sustainable asphalt. It is therefore time for the final and most impressive phase of this project. Working with the designs and plants already in place (including what has already been added in Phases 1 and 2), we will complete this colorful and diverse landscape for one of our most popular areas, and improve the path for both visitors and staff.

Phase 3 Design – Sedge and Wildflower Meadow

For Phase 3, we turned to Larry Weaner Landscape Associates to create the landscape design. Principal and founder Larry Weaner has been a leading voice in the movement to shift from reliance on turf grass to diverse and ecologically-friendly groundcover. For many years, he has been working with us on the most effective ways to implement turf grass replacement throughout the Cemetery – one section of the landscape at a time, and always with the goal of complementing the monuments, trees, and other features that are already in place.

Larry has worked with Jenna Webster, Senior Associate at Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, to create a native planting scheme that will stretch across the entire 1,800-foot Ridge. It features a sedge and wildflower meadow along with an ambitious series of landscape character zones. These distinct zones – North Ridge Entry, Longfellow Woods, Ridge Meadow, Gardner’s Woods, Auburn Glade, and South Ridge Entry – draw inspiration from the legacy of the Ridge’s historic landscape, including some of its most notable monuments.

Landscape design map
Design scheme by Larry Weaner Landscape Associates

Improving the Path

We will also replace most of the narrow, damaged asphalt path with a permeable paving alternative. Asphalt produces harmful gases during production and installation, and increases the “heat island effect” in urban areas. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are using a more environmentally-friendly stone aggregate instead. The larger and smoother path can also accommodate more visitors.

What to Expect When

Work on Phase 3 will begin in late spring 2022 with plant installations, which will continue through the summer. Throughout that time, and into the fall, our staff will be providing critical early maintenance for the new plants as needed. Meanwhile, landscape construction company Capizzi & Co. will install the new path at the same time. Please be aware that access to Indian Ridge will be closed during path construction, from June to October 2022.

Support Indian Ridge

You can help make this last step of the Indian Ridge Habitat Restoration a success! By making a gift to this project, you are enabling us to bring this new landscape to life and make the space more enjoyable for everyone. Thank you for your support!

Donate here

Support Mount Auburn’s Ecology

March 4, 2022

You may come to Mount Auburn to walk or visit a grave, but we humans are just a part of the much larger community that depends on this place. As an urban greenspace, the Cemetery is home to native wildlife both large and small, as well as an important feeding ground for migratory birds. It is just as crucial that we care for these wildlife populations as we do the plants and monuments.

2 women with butterfly net

As a leader in the growing field of urban ecology and a resource for local researchers, Mount Auburn plays an important role in stewarding both the flora and fauna of southern New England.

Read on to learn more about the biodiversity work our staff and consulting scientists are undertaking this year. Help us raise the funds to support their projects, and receive a special thank-you gift from us!

The Cemetery: An Ecological Research Center

2022 Biodiversity Studies

Phenology Study *
Breeding Bird Survey *
Amphibian Monitoring *
Eastern Red-Backed Salamander Reintroduction *
Dragonfly Study *
Bat Study *
Arthropod Monitoring *
Pollinator Survey *
Coyote Study
Giant Silk Moth Release Program *
Fungi & Lichens Survey *
Monarchs & Milkweed Monitoring *
Urban-to-Rural Gradient Camera Trap Survey
Winter Bird Survey

*Programs with Citizen Science volunteer opportunities

Mount Auburn has become a unique destination for biodiversity research in the Boston area. Each year, expert scientists work with our staff to study and conserve the precious wildlife populations here, from bats and birds to pollinators and amphibians. Understanding how to care for these diverse species is a key piece of responding to climate change in our environment.

Working alongside them is Mount Auburn’s own corps of Citizen Scientists – trained volunteers who serve as research assistants and public educators. The Citizen Scientist Naturalist Program is open to all ages, providing opportunities for everyone to connect with nature in a meaningful way.

Since adopting our Wildlife Action Plan in 2015, Mount Auburn’s slate of ongoing biodiversity studies has grown from 6 to an astounding 14, ranging from an urban coyote study to the reintroduction of giant silk moths.

Contact pkwiatkowski@mountauburn.org for this year’s volunteer schedule and training opportunities!

How You Can Support Our Wildlife

Collection of wildlife images

This work does not happen on its own. Generous gifts from our members and donors have allowed our Citizen Science and ecological research program to grow to this point.

You can help us continue this program’s success! Your gift will go directly towards our goal of $15,000 for this year’s studies, volunteer trainings, and consulting researchers. This spring, support our ecology and biodiversity programs with a gift of $120 or more and receive the exclusive Wildlife of Mount Auburn magnet set as our thanks to you. Decorate your fridge or office with images of some of the local species that your gift ensures can continue to call Mount Auburn home.

Learn More: Our Comittment to Biodiversity

Mount Auburn’s 175 acres provide food, water, cover, and nesting sites for a diverse community of urban wildlife. Predators and prey alike are well-represented, allowing the food web to follow its dynamic seasonal cycle. Guided by our 2015 Wildlife Action Plan, Mount Auburn protects and enhances this urban ecosystem and invites a community of researchers and educators to use our grounds as a living laboratory to study biodiversity and climate change.

Mount Auburn’s Biodiversity
Mount Auburn’s Wildlife Action Plan

Volunteer & Visitor Engagement Coordinator at Mount Auburn Cemetery

May 24, 2022

Role and Responsibilities:
Reporting to the Director of Education & Visitor Services the Volunteer & Visitor Engagement Coordinator manages the daily operations of the Cemetery’s Visitor Center, including the scheduling and supervision of volunteers at the Welcome Desk, and other general visitor engagement activities. The Coordinator also manages and supervises the organization-wide volunteer program and provides direct oversight of its volunteer docent program. The Coordinator recruits, trains, and plans engagement activities to grow a thoughtful community of volunteers that support organizational needs. The Coordinator assists in the development of annual goals and budgets that support Mount Auburn’s strategic objectives to welcome and inspire all who visit.

Volunteer Management
• Acts as volunteer coordinator for all volunteer opportunities at the Cemetery including greenhouse, gardening, citizen science, historical collections, plant collections, and visitor services.
• Creates annual goals and budgets for visitor services and volunteer programs that support Mount Auburn’s strategic initiatives.
• Grows the volunteer program through new volunteer opportunities and an expanded volunteer corps; recruits and screens new volunteers for departments and events; creates and maintains volunteer training materials.
• Keeps records of all Mount Auburn volunteers and manages volunteer statistics for reporting purposes.
• Manages volunteer communications and plans volunteer appreciation events and other forms of recognition.
• Organizes a schedule of year-round training for volunteers and staff, working with all departments to offer special lectures, presentations, and tours that deepen understanding of Mount Auburn’s roles as an active cemetery, a public garden, and cultural organization.

Visitors Engagement
• Manages daily, weekly, and seasonal operations at Mount Auburn’s Visitor Center.
• Coordinates Visitor Center operations in collaboration with other departments and sets weekly staffing/volunteer schedules.
• Participates in the development of new visitor amenities and services that deepen the experience for Mount Auburn’s 200,000+ annual visitors.
• Maintains stock of all interpretive materials including printed brochures, maps, and publications. Facilitates the production of updated materials and the reprinting of depleted printed materials, as necessary.
• Manages income received through Visitors Center and online sales, prepares deposits.
• Manages private group tour program. Reviews visitation requests of all groups wishing to visit the Cemetery, secures guides as necessary, and handles all financial transactions associated with visit.
• Assists with the development and staffing of outreach activities that will attract new audiences to the Cemetery, including events in the community.
Qualifications and physical demands include but are not limited to:
• A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required. Interests in social history, natural history and horticulture highly desirable. Must be able to act as an effective representative of the Cemetery and the Friends of Mount Auburn.
• Two years of experience managing adult volunteers preferred
• Demonstrated ability to work with the public and to coordinate complex tasks. Ability to follow through on assigned tasks and to work independently. Ability to handle financial transactions and manage inventories accurately.
• Demonstrated excellent communication skills, in person, in writing, via telephone or other computer or other electronic media.
• Demonstrated ability to be flexible and creative as work demands change.
• Must be able to use a computer and telephone and mobile radio equipment. Must be able to drive a car and have a valid driver’s license.
• Must be able to move and work out-of-doors and within an office environment. Must be able to move throughout the Gatehouse areas, Administration Building, Operations Center, Story Chapel and Bigelow Chapel both up and downstairs.
• Must be able to move within all areas of the Cemetery grounds and buildings and drive Cemetery vehicles.
• Must be able to lift and move program materials and supplies using proper safety procedures.

Hours of Work:
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM from Tuesday to Saturday. Occasional evenings and weekends as required.

How to Apply:
Please send a cover letter stating your career goals and objectives with a current resume, as Microsoft Word documents, and include “Volunteer & Visitor Engagement Coordinator” in the subject area, to: jobs@mountauburn.org
Or by mail to: Human Resources
Mount Auburn Cemetery
580 Mount Auburn St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No telephone calls please.

Mount Auburn Cemetery is an equal opportunity employer.

Preservation Craftsperson at Mount Auburn Cemetery

May 24, 2022

Role and Responsibilities:
The Preservation Craftsperson participates in all stages of monument repairs and preservation, re-setting monuments, foundation repairs and new foundation installations, and other preservation based masonry repairs, assists in preservation and conservation work and general preservation maintenance work throughout the cemetery. The Preservation Craftsman ensures all work on site appropriately reflects the Statement of Preservation Values and Commitments approved by the Trustees of the Cemetery on December 12, 2007, and is performed in accordance with appropriate standards and best practices in preservation and conservation.

• Perform work on historic masonry throughout the cemetery including mausoleums, monuments and other grave markers and assist with project assessment of materials and conditions.
• Perform preservation and contemporary carpentry projects.
• Perform repairs to cast iron fences.
• Assist in the management of the Preservation Services Building workshop keeping tools and equipment maintained and functioning properly and ensure that materials are stocked and stored in an organized and safe manner.
• Assist and communicate effectively with onsite contractors.
• Assist with surveying the cemetery grounds for loose, leaning or potentially unsafe memorials, mausoleums, lot fences, etc.
• Assist with record keeping, maintaining field notes of work performed and photo documentation and the input of this information by computer into the appropriate preservation department database.
• Must adhere to all safety rules and procedures and utilize appropriate protective equipment and guards. Bring all workshop and job site safety concerns to the attention of direct supervisor or member of the safety committee.
• Ability to operate a variety of power tools safely and effectively.
• Work cooperatively with members of other departments and act as a “team player”, assisting other staff as necessary when short-handed or requiring additional help. Among other things, assist with snow removal, facilities maintenance, and/or the set-up or breakdown of chapels for memorial services, meetings or events.

Qualifications and physical demands include but are not limited to:

• High School diploma required and some college level courses desirable.
• Minimum of one year of practical preservation experience required.
• Two years of preservation training or the equivalent of preservation field work or schooling.
• Ability to identify stone types, evaluate conditions and recommend repairs and treatments.
• Ability to balance efficient maintenance needs with sensitive preservation concerns.
• Functional English language reading, writing and speaking skills required. Knowledge of Spanish language desirable.
• Ability to communicate effectively with cemetery staff, lot owners, visitors and outside contractors or vendors.
• Must be able to operate a variety of hand and power tools safely and effectively including but not limited to cordless and corded drills, circular saw, table saw, miter saw, angle grinder, reciprocating saw, and bench grinder.
• Basic computer skills required and the ability to use a mouse and/or standard keyboard and computer equipment.
• Valid driver’s license required.
• Ability to access all areas of the Cemetery grounds and buildings including walking up and down stairs, entering confined spaces, and navigating varied terrain.
• Ability to climb and work from all manner of ladders, scaffolding, and aerial work platforms and move both within a workshop and normal office environment.
• Ability to bend, walk, kneel, stoop, crouch, stand and reach over head for long periods of time plus lift and carry heavy materials (maximum 80 lbs.).
• May be required to work outdoors in any season or weather condition.

Hours of Work:
7:30 AM to 3:30 PM from Monday to Friday. Occasional evenings and weekends as required.

How to Apply:
Please send a cover letter stating your career goals and objectives with a current resume, as Microsoft Word documents, and include “Preservation Craftsperson” in the subject area, to: jobs@mountauburn.org
Or by mail to: Human Resources
Mount Auburn Cemetery
580 Mount Auburn St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No telephone calls please.

Support Preservation at Mount Auburn

May 17, 2022

The William C. Clendaniel Preservation Fund supports the specialized care that keeps our unique collections in good condition for years to come.

Mount Auburn Cemetery was designated a National Historic Landmark because of its exceptional historic landscape, which consists of both plants and built objects. When you visit, you are surrounded not only by nature but by the evolving history of funerary art in America – monuments, fences, stained glass, and other decorative items that families have chosen to remember their loved ones or that decorate our landscape and buildings.

Mount Auburn’s monuments feature the work of some of our country’s finest 19th-century sculptors, including Horatio Greenough, Edmonia Lewis, and Thomas Crawford. The stained glass in each of the chapels is the work of both Scottish and American craftsmen. More recent monuments reflect the work of contemporary artists and reflect the broadening demographics of the nation. Archival materials help tell the story of how these works of art were created. Taken together, all these elements document changes in commemorative art over the years, with evocative designs and inscriptions that help tell the stories of our residents and our national history. Made of marble, granite, slate, and even glass, this diverse collection is an essential part of our landscape’s beauty, educational value, and historical significance.

Because it is located outdoors, this collection of funerary art requires constant and specialized preservation to survive years of exposure to the elements. Acid rain and snow have already diminished many important details of marble monuments in particular, and high-level care is essential to protect all these items for future visitors.

To ensure that the Cemetery has the resources for this enormous but vital task, we have established the William C. Clendaniel Preservation Fund to support critical preservation work across the Cemetery. This endowed fund honors President Emeritus William C. (Bill) Clendaniel, who served as Mount Auburn’s President from 1988 until 2008.

Man in front of large window
Bill Clendaniel

Bill was a passionate advocate for preservation throughout his tenure. He recognized early on that Mount Auburn’s past approach of simply focusing on routine maintenance was not sufficient for the specialized needs of our collections. With that in mind, he worked to establish new policies that made preservation an essential part of the Cemetery’s mission, and increased the professionalism of the staff – as well as the budget – in the preservation department. His contributions continue to be felt throughout our landscape today.

Your gift to the William C. Clendaniel Preservation Fund gives our staff the resources they need to care for this vital collection for generations to come.

Our skilled preservation staff re-set, wash, repair, and repoint thousands of monuments and fences.

Our Curator of Historical Collections & Archives researches, provides documentation, and recommends preservation priorities.

Consulting sculpture conservators offer advanced expertise to preserve some of our most significant monuments.

Make a Gift Today!

Learn more about recent preservation highlights.

Whitney Monument, 2020

Fagnani Monument, 2020

Gardner Mausoleum, 2017 – 2020

Coppenhagen Monument, 2017

Harnden Monument, 2016

Learn more about Bill’s tenure at Mount Auburn.