Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of The Friends 2021 Vol. 1 - Page 14

The David P . Barnett Fund in Horticulture and Urban Ecology

By Jenny Gilbert Director of Institutional Advancement
hen you ask Dave Barnett what his

W proudest accomplishment is at Mount

Auburn , it ’ s not a new landscape or a restored building but the team of staff he helped build . From gardeners to curators to security staff to those who help families in need , the quality and professionalism of the staff and the communal commitment to serving people are the overarching themes of his tenure at Mount Auburn .
Not only did Dave have strong relationships with those he worked alongside for decades but he always took time to work with new members of the team , and especially to mentor and encourage younger staff . A plantsman at heart , more comfortable in hiking boots than in dress shoes , Dave always stressed the importance of giving hands-on opportunities to young people in horticulture .
It is therefore a fitting tribute to Dave ’ s distinguished career upon his retirement that in January 2021 the Board of Trustees voted to approve the David P . Barnett Fund in Horticulture & Urban Ecology . The Barnett Fund is designed to support emerging professionals in these fields , which are so close to Dave ’ s heart . It will offer stipends for talented young women and men to train with Mount Auburn staff and provide funds for research , travel , and professional development .
Barnett Fund recipients who focus on horticulture will have opportunities to take on specialized projects and train with our plant collections , gardening , greenhouse , or arboriculture staff . Recipients with an interest in urban ecology and wildlife will receive training from staff and partnering scientists , with the goal of applying this knowledge on our grounds . They can also collaborate with our Citizen Science Program to support innovative research projects and build stronger community relationships . Finally , recipients with an interest in climate change and sustainability can work with our staff on implementing Mount Auburn ’ s Climate Action & Sustainability Plan through research and the application of green technology .
Any qualified young professional may apply . Mount Auburn will encourage participation of candidates from diverse backgrounds from the Cambridge / Watertown / Greater Boston area .
Staff and interns may apply for research and professional development opportunities . Application details are forthcoming .
The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery has designated $ 400,000 for the Barnett Fund , with the goal of raising an additional $ 800,000 . With this funding , and in honor of Dave ’ s incredible legacy here at Mount Auburn , we can support the next generation of leaders in horticultural and urban ecology .