Category: Stewardship

Join the Citizen Science Naturalist Program!

Join the Citizen Science Naturalist Program!
February 24, 2023

Virtual Classroom Trainings

Citizen Science Naturalist Program


If you are interested in nature and would like to learn more about our local flora and fauna, we have just the program for you!

If you are concerned about our warming climate and would like to participate in projects that are gathering vital information about its impacts, we have just the program for you!

If you like to be outdoors and are interested in meeting people that care about the earth as much as you do, we have just the program for you!

Join the Citizen Science Naturalist Program at Mount Auburn Cemetery!

Our program provides eleven virtual classroom trainings led by local experts that will introduce beginners to flora and fauna and provide a deeper dive for more experienced nature enthusiasts.  Volunteers will learn about field research protocols and conservation techniques through classroom and field trainings that will prepare them to become capable biodiversity research assistants for a number of projects on the grounds of Mount Auburn Cemetery.  Volunteers will also have an opportunity to contribute to national environmental projects.  Tutorial data collection walks and additional activities will be provided throughout the year.  No experience is required!  An in-person get together at the new event space at Hazel Dell will close out the classroom piece of our program.  Citizen scientists will have an opportunity to get to know one another and connect with field researchers and classroom trainers at this event.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Paul Kwiatkowski, Director of Urban Ecology & Sustainability at Mount Auburn Cemetery:

You will receive zoom links to the virtual classroom trainings after signing up for the program.  All trainings will be recorded.

2023 Virtual Classroom Schedule

  1. Amphibians & Reptiles: Saturday March 4, 11:00am – 1:00pm.
  2. Tree & Shrub Phenology: Tuesday March 7, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.
  3. Mammals: Saturday March 11, 1:00pm – 3:00pm.
  4. Nature Photography: Saturday March 18, 11:00am – 12:00pm
  5. Birds: Monday March 20, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.
  6. Fungi & Lichens: Monday April 3, 2:00pm – 3:00pm.
  7. Insects: Wednesday April 12, 12:15pm – 2:00pm.
  8. Intro to GIS and Mapping for Citizen Science: Friday April 14, 11:00am – 12:30pm.
  9. Informal Educators & Crowd-Sourced Science: Tuesday April 18, 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
  10. History of Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Connection to Landscape Stewardship: Thursday April 20, 10:00am – 11:00am.
  11. Botany & Gardening for Pollinators: Tuesday April 25, 6:00 – 8:00pm.
  12. In-Person Get Together: Sunday April 30, 3:00 – 5:00pm.

Tenth Annual Community Electronics Recycling Day!

Tenth Annual Community Electronics Recycling Day!
January 25, 2023

On Saturday, January 7, Mount Auburn hosted our 10th public electronics recycling collection event. Each year the event grows, attracting participants from neighboring towns looking to responsibly dispose of their unwanted, obsolete and non-working electronics.  This year we kept over four tons of electronics out of landfills!

We welcomed about 175 households arriving by car and foot over 3 hours and filled 17 pallets with electronics.  Thanks to staff members Al, Ari, Carlos Greg, Jessica, Santos, and Thomas, and volunteers Rich and Caleb for staffing the event to unload cars and keep everything running smoothly. 

Collected Items Included:
19                    Monitors

17                    Televisions

8                      Vacuums

29                    Speakers

239 lbs.            Co-mingled material

126 lbs.            Alkaline Batteries

25 lbs.              Lithium Batteries

26 lbs. Ni-Cad Batteries

123 lbs.            Lead Acid Batteries

250 lbs.           Metal/Air Conditioners

6, 989 lbs.       Electronics

Once the collected items are transported to the Northeast Material Handling facility the process includes sorting, dismantling, mechanical separation and recovery of valuable materials.  Materials rescued in the recycling process such as gold, copper, glass and aluminum can be returned to the supply chain and used again, thus reducing the need to mine expensive raw materials through environmentally destructive methods, and therefore significantly reducing carbon emissions.

For every ton of e-waste collected and recycled; 1.44 tons of CO2 emissions are avoided.  So four tons is an impressive accomplishment with a big impact!  Thanks to everyone in the community who participated and made this event a success!

Fighting For Our Future

October 15, 2021

This virtual Climate Speaker Series event was recorded on October 6, 2021.

In Conversation with Mothers Out Front

On October 6, 2021 the Friends of Mount Auburn hosted a virtual presentation and panel discussion featuring volunteers from Cambridge Mothers Out Front. This is the local chapter of a national organization created and led by women. Their mission is to ensure a livable climate and sustainable future for the generations ahead.

Among its core principles, Mothers Out Front advocates for equal access to clean air and water and improved tree canopy. During this recorded event, Mothers Out Front members Kristine Jelstrup, Margery Davies, Hannah Mahoney, and Diane Martin reflected on their work to improve the quality of life for every citizen. The panelists also discussed their strategic efforts to support the passage of green roof/bio-solar legislation in Cambridge and climate legislation at the state level.

Mount Auburn is connected to Mothers Out Front through the “green burials” and memorials of loved ones and simply as an inspirational setting for contemplative walks. As evidence of the Cemetery’s inspirational qualities, Mothers Out Front volunteer Hannah Mahoney shared a haiku she wrote after an early autumn visit to the Cemetery (a moment also captured in a photograph taken by her husband):

fall warmth
the fattest bumblebee dozing
in the tallest zinnia

Cambridge Mothers Out Front

Learn more about Cambridge Mothers Out Front. You do not have to be a mother or grandmother to participate. Truly all are welcome to participate in this most important of struggles for our very future.

About the Climate Speaker Series

Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Climate Speaker Series provides a platform for local researchers, academics, public officials, business and non-profit leaders, and volunteer organizations to share with the public their work to investigate, mitigate, and adapt to the threats of our warming climate.

Learn more >>>

Funding for this program was provided in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.