Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn Community, Conservation & Citizen Science - Page 4

Burial Gardens within the Greater Garden By Candace Currie, Director of Planning & Cemetery Development and Bree Harvey, Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services “Mount Auburn is committed to organizational excellence by sustaining the innovative development of a diverse mix of new inventory that responds to evolving client interests and trends while at the same time ensuring that preservation and enhancement of the landscape takes precedence.” -opening statement from Mount Auburn’s current Strategic Plan (2016 – 2020) Every time Mount Auburn considers removing a tree that is a safety hazard, or rejuvenates a tired landscape, or makes an addition to a building; we ask ourselves, is there something that could be here that enhances all of Mount Auburn? Perhaps a view can be opened or a sequestered bower brightened. Perhaps there is an opportunity to create new habitat for wildlife or a landscape improvement is required because heavy rains have adversely affected one of the ponds. With all the possibilities of what could be done, how does Mount Auburn decide what projects to undertake? Who is listening to the landscape for an answer? 2 | Sweet Auburn When it comes to the creation of new burial space, it is a multi-disciplinary team of staff members at Mount Auburn—our Cemetery Development team—that leads the charge. This team vigorously debates the merits of each potential development and more favorable proposals are added to Mount Auburn’s long-term plans. Ultimately, the Cemetery Development team makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees, offering for consideration the projects that best support our goal of creating new burial options while also enhancing and preserving the character of our landscape. Those projects endorsed by the Trustees are then prepared for construction, with one, or maybe two, being completed in any given year. Some of our most recent Cemetery Development projects include an expansion to Spruce Knoll, a popular woodland cremation garden established more than 20 years ago, and the creation of Beech Garden, an entirely new garden located behind Birch Court Crypts so-named for the large European Beech that anchors the area. The en- largement of a rain garden at Willow Pond in 2015, which protects the pond from storm water runoff, also provided Mount Auburn with the opportunity to create a small lot adjacent to the new garden and pond. Each of these