Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of The Friends 2021 Vol. 1 | Page 4

My Years with David Barnett

By Bill Clendaniel President Emeritus
’ ve often said that the two best things I did in my 20 years as President of Mount Auburn Cemetery were

I to commission a Master Plan and to hire Dave Barnett . Both were related , because one of the recommendations of the Master Plan was to hire a Director of Horticulture .

I had chosen the Halvorson Company in 1989 to work with a Trustee committee and staff to write a Master Plan , and Liz Vizza was assigned as the project manager . After two years of work with a large group of consultants as well as the Mount Auburn team , the plan was nearing completion . Liz and I responded to an invitation from the American Association of Botanic Gardens & Arboreta ( AABGA , now known as the American Public Gardens Association ) to give a presentation on the plan in the fall of 1991 at a regional conference at Planting Fields Arboretum , at Oyster Bay , Long Island . It was there that we first met Dave , who was Planting Fields ’ Assistant Director and the conference organizer . Both of us were immediately impressed with him .