Mount Auburn Receives Level III Arboretum Accreditation

June 28, 2012

The Cemetery recently achieved Level III Accreditation as an arboretum through ArbNet, an international organization promoting the work of arboreta.  Among the first arboreta in New England to receive this level of accreditation, and alone among cemeteries nationwide, Mount Auburn is acknowledged for its extraordinary plant collections. Those institutions granted accreditation by ArbNet must meet exacting criteria to qualify, and must exemplify professionalism and a commitment to collaboration in scientific, collections, or conservation capacities.

Each of the four levels of distinction (Level IV being the highest) in ArbNet’s accreditation is comprised of different criteria to encourage arboreta to strive for higher levels of achievement. By receiving the merit of Level III, Mount Auburn has surpassed the criteria for the first two levels, which include: possessing a plan and strong organizational structure, maintaining a collection of 25-100 types of trees, and providing educational programming. Level III builds upon these criteria, and in addition, demands a minimum of 500 types of trees and shrubs, a dedicated curator, professional collaboration, sharing of plant data, a substantial educational program, and active plant conservation activity.

Mount Auburn boasts 1,143 taxa (distinct species, subspecies, or varieties) of trees and shrubs, surpassing the minimum requirement for Level III accreditation by more than double. A horticultural curator and superintendent of grounds oversee a year-round staff of 16 with an additional 28 seasonal positions. They are aided by many volunteers as well. The Cemetery collaborates with a number of organizations, ranging from the national (American Public Gardens Association) to the local (the Arnold Arboretum), on a variety of different initiatives.

A leader in conservation, Mount Auburn is committed to experimenting with ecologically sustainable landscaping techniques, from brewing compost teas, to exploring Integrated Pest Management (read more about this topic in the Summer 1993 issue of Sweet Auburn), to the use of a strictly organic growing system. A frequent collaborator with the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA), Mount Auburn hosts programs and workshops to educate others about sustainability and organic practices. The Cemetery’s educational initiative extends to the general public, who can participate in guided tours and public programs, watch online learning videos, and track blooms and trees on our website. Nearly half of all visitors to Mount Auburn cite the horticultural collections as their primary interest in visiting.


Interested in attending a horticultural program at Mount Auburn? Join us on the following dates:

Sunday, July 1, 2012, at 10 AM – North American Trees
Sunday, July 22, 2012, at 10 AM – Chinese Cachet
Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at 5:30 PM – Summer Blooming Trees & Shrubs
Sunday, August 26, 2012, at 10 AM – Plants from the Bible
Sunday, September 9, 2012, at 10 AM – Japanese Jewels
Sunday, September 23, 2012, at 1 PM – Ornamental Grasses

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