Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of The Friends 2021 Vol. 1 | Page 17

sweet auburn | 2021 volume i
The plan is organized in three thematic areas aligned with our values : Openness and Welcome , Beauty and Serenity , and Stewardship and Sustainability . Under this thematic framework , the plan includes eight major goals with twenty-six supporting objectives . Several key outcomes will be achieved during the eighteen-month bridge period , including :
• Foundational work on Inclusion , Diversity , Equity , and Accessibility ( IDEA ), which will have a positive effect on organization and staffing , governance , visitor and client services , and community engagement ;
• Customer and visitor service enhancements to create a sense of welcome and belonging for all ;
• A plan for accessibility in the Story Chapel / Administration Building complex ;
• Sustainable investment to ensure an elevated commitment to the existing high standards of horticulture and landscape maintenance ;
• An elevated commitment to the preservation of monuments and other memorial structures ;
• A new “ cemetery development ” plan clarifying and renewing our commitment that all development of new interment space is done in a way that enhances the beauty and preserves the historic character of the landscape ;
• Board-approved organizational Climate Action and Sustainability Plan .
Climate Action and Sustainability Plan : I am particularly excited to announce that , as part of our Strategic Bridge Plan , we are nearing completion of an organization-wide Climate Action and Sustainability Plan ( CASP ), with formal approval by the Trustees expected in June . For as long as I have been at Mount Auburn , we have been striving to utilize more environmentally sustainable maintenance practices and to be a model of environmental stewardship . While I am proud of what we have accomplished , we must commit to doing a great deal more . With the impacts of climate change becoming increasingly severe , the time to act is now !
The CASP will quantify and document the progress we have made since 2010 in reducing our carbon footprint through energy efficiency improvements in our facilities , a phased conversion of our fleet of vehicles and equipment to electric , and various other changes to our operations . Most importantly , the plan will set short- , medium- , and long-term targets and strategies for continuing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions , with the ultimate goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 . The CASP will also include strategies for mitigating and adapting to the changes in climate that will inevitably occur , including the continued diversification of Mount Auburn ’ s plant collections ( from trees to ground covers ) and continued landscape enhancements designed to improve the wildlife habitat value of our 175 acres .
Mount Auburn ’ s Climate Action and Sustainability Plan will be about much more than reducing our carbon footprint . Following the framework established by the American Public Gardens Association ( APGA ), the plan utilizes the Sustainability Index of twelve “ attributes ” under the following three categories : Environmental Actions , Economic Actions , and Social Actions . Under each category , the CASP will include a brief summary of current activities and then shortterm and long-term goals as part of a holistic approach toward maximizing operational sustainability . Going forward , I believe it is critically important for Mount Auburn to play an active leadership role , not just in carrying out environmentally sensitive practices , but also by sharing our knowledge and teaching others how to do the right thing for the future of our planet . Goals of the CASP will include strengthening and expanding our Citizen Scientist program as well as continued collaborations with local universities and other organizations to carry out environmental research and education , utilizing the tremendous resource provided by the urban green space and landscape of Mount Auburn .