Annual Giving at Mount Auburn

November 29, 2016

The work we do here at Mount Auburn is incredibly diverse. As an active cemetery, historic landmark, accredited arboretum, and urban wildlife refuge, it takes all of our different departments working together to fulfill our mission to inspire, commemorate, and provide comfort in our beautiful landscape.

As we approach the end of the year, we are deeply grateful for the generous Annual Fund support we receive from our donors, which makes all of the work we do possible. Unrestricted gifts for our general operating budget have provided the resources required to do a variety of projects both to preserve this historic space and offer new ways of experiencing it, including the following highlights.


harnden-wrappedThe completed restoration of the fence at our iconic Egyptian Revival Gateway may have been the most noticeable work by our preservation team in 2016, but the staff has been busy with a number of individual monuments throughout our 175 acres. One significant project has been the restoration of the monument to William Frederick Harnden, who pioneered express services between Boston and New York in 1839. This grand monument from 1866 features a large canopy and detailed sculpture and carved panels, and required extensive cleaning and repair after a century and a half of exposure to acidic rainwater and the harsh freeze-thaw cycles of New England winters.

Wildlife Habitat:

Photo by Al Parker

Photo by Al Parker

In the past year, we have launched a new Citizen Science program in which volunteers collect data that our staff and consulting scientists need to determine how to offer the best possible environment for both migratory and year-round resident birds. During both the spring and fall of 2016, volunteers were trained to collect data about the phenology of different trees and shrubs along a designated trail every week, giving us considerably more information than we would be able to collect alone. As we expand the program and include bird monitoring, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to involve the local community in our efforts to address environmental changes from climate disruption and offer a sustainable wildlife refuge even in such a densely-populated urban area.

Public Programs:

fallwalk-12In 2016, we have continued to expand the public programs we offer to enhance people’s experiences in the Cemetery and enable Mount Auburn to remain a vibrant resource for all. New offerings include our mindful walking series, which helps participants use Mount Auburn’s tranquil setting to practice seasonal contemplation under the instruction of a clinical social worker and registered yoga teacher.

We send our thanks to everyone who has donated in 2016, and we hope you will consider renewing your support for the Friends of Mount Auburn before the end of the year to ensure our continued success in 2017.

You can make your tax-deductible donation online, or mail a check to the Friends of Mount Auburn at 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Thank you for your support.

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