Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn Community, Conservation & Citizen Science - Page 3

President’s Corner The theme of this issue of Sweet Auburn, “Community, Conservation, and Citizen Science,” highlights Mount Auburn’s important role in the greater Boston community as an urban oasis and a refuge for both people and wildlife. I am particularly pleased to introduce our exciting collaboration with Lesley University, made possible by a grant from the A. J. & M. D. Ruggiero Memorial Trust. As described by Charlie Eaton on pages 4–7, we have embarked on a multi- faceted project to conduct biodiversity research at and ecological assessments of Mount Auburn, with the goal of informing our continued efforts to improve the wildlife habitat value of the landscape. The collaboration with Lesley University scientists and education researchers will enable us to expand our educational programs related to the environment and conservation, and will also create new citizen-science opportunities for both children and adults in Watertown, Cambridge, and other neighboring towns. On pages 8–9, Paul Kwiatkowski, Mount Auburn’s Wildlife Conservation & Sustainability Manager, describes our fledgling but rapidly growing citizen-science program that he has so enthusiastically and capably organized. These projects all fall under our efforts to “Be a model of environmental stewardship,” one of the six major initiatives of our five-year Strategic Plan. I am proud to be part of a great team of staff and trustees who are following in the footsteps of the individuals described by Jim Levitt (p. 20), who have made landmark contributions to conservation and environmental stewardship. While we strive to expand our environmental stewardship and educational efforts, we continue to carry out our core mission of “comforting the bereaved and commemorating the dead in a landscape of exceptional beauty.” Candace Currie and Bree Harvey (pp. 2–3) summarize our process for developing new burial space while ensuring that preservation and enhancement of Mount Auburn’s landscape takes precedence. We also continue to carry out projects to preserve monuments and the important life stories they represent (pp. 12–14), as well as other significant structures such as the Egyptian Revival Gateway (p. 15). We are grateful for the generous institutional and individual support that has enabled us to complete these preservation projects. And on page 21, Melissa Banta celebrates the completion of Caroline’s Path, a project entirely funded by a significant contribution from the Loughlin family via the Caroline Loughlin Fund of Vanguard Charitable, in memory of our beloved former Trustee. By the time this issue goes to press, we will have broken ground on a major renovation of Asa Gray Garden, also made possible by a lead gift from the Loughlin family. I look fo rward to reporting on completion of this project a year from now. I hope you enjoy this issue of Sweet Auburn, and I hope you continue to visit Mount Auburn frequently to observe all the exciting things going on! Cheers, David P. Barnett President & CEO 2017 Volume 2 | 1