Reflections on Mount Auburn with President & CEO Dave Barnett

April 30, 2021

Mount Auburn has been led by President & CEO Dave Barnett since 2008. Dave began his tenure at Mount Auburn in 1993 as the Cemetery’s first Director of Horticulture and has since been responsible for elevating the inspirational qualities of Mount Auburn’s landscape. His many professional awards include a Distinguished Service Medal from the Garden Club of America and an Honorary Life Member designation from the American Public Gardens Association.

As his retirement approaches (September 2021), Dave reflects back on his 28-year tenure at the Cemetery in a series of moderated conversations with his longtime friends and colleagues. View the recordings below.

Mount Auburn’s Evolving Landscape

A conversation between Dave Barnett; Craig Halvorson, consulting landscape architect; and Claude Benoit, retired Director of Horticulture. Moderated by Mount Auburn Trustee Tom Cooper.

1993 was a pivotal year for Mount Auburn on multiple levels – Craig and his team completed a major master plan that has been reshaping our landscape ever since, and Dave was hired to help make the plan a reality. Mount Auburn’s landscape has never been static throughout its entire history, and Dave, Craig, and Claude reflect on the parts they played in its continued evolution, always with the goal of elevating this beloved site to new levels.

Recorded on February 16, 2021.

Mount Auburn’s 25 Years of Habitat Restoration

A conversation between Dave Barnett; Dennis Collins, Horticultural Curator; and Joe Martinez, consulting scientist. Moderated by Mount Auburn Trustee Frank Reece.

From rethinking what we plant where, to reintroducing native amphibian species to our site, to researching how to best serve all of the wildlife that calls Mount Auburn home, our staff and consultants have spent decades transforming Mount Auburn into a more sustainable urban habitat. Together with some of his colleagues and consulting scientists, Dave reflects on how they have made this goal a reality – and what comes next.

Recorded on March 24, 2021.

Preserving Mount Auburn’s Cultural Landscape

A conversation between Dave Barnett; Meg Winslow, Curator of Historical Collections & Archives; and Gus Fraser, Vice President of Preservation & Facilities. Moderated by Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services Bree Harvey.

When you hear the words “historic landscape,” do you gravitate towards one word more than the other? How do you manage both equally? And how do historic preservation and landscape work together at Mount Auburn? Dave and a team of his longtime staff colleagues discuss how these questions have informed so many of the projects they have worked on together.

Recorded on April 28, 2021.

Read More

Celebrating Dave Barnett | Join us in celebrating Dave’s remarkable tenure at Mount Auburn and learn more about the newly established David P. Barnett Fund for Horticulture & Urban Ecology, which will support continued excellence in areas that are certain to be part of his legacy.  Read more >>


This three-part series was sponsored by Magnolia Wine Company.

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