Announcing our 2023 Annual Meeting – March 21, 7 pm at the Sargent Memorial Library: “Conservation and Stewardship at Mount Auburn Cemetery”

View his powerpoint presentation here and a slide show of David Barnett’s yard in Boxborough through the seasons here – get ideas for native plantings that will promote biodiversity in your own yard!

We are excited to announce that Boxborough’s own, David Barnett will be our Annual Meeting Speaker! Join us for this free event, part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration! David Barnett has a Ph.D. in Ecology from University of California, Davis, and an M.S. and B.S. Environmental Horticulture. Upon his retirement from Mt Auburn in 2021, after 28 years with the organization, the Board of Trustees established the “David P. Barnett Fund in Horticulture and Urban Ecology” and raised $1.1 million to support emerging professionals in these fields.

Dr. Barnett led a transition to more ecologically friendly landscape design and maintenance practices on this 175-acre site in Cambridge/Watertown. Founded in 1831, Mt Auburn Cemetery is the country’s oldest garden cemetery, and is well-known for its ecological complexity, attractiveness to migratory birds, and beautiful gardens. A primary focus of Dr. Barnett’s presentation will be the restoration of a four-acre portion of the cemetery to New England woodland, much as it was described at its founding. Phased over 25 years, this project included removal of Norway maples and other invasive species, and the planting of several thousand plants native to New England, comprising 120 species of trees, shrubs, and woodland groundcovers. With a vernal pool in the enter of this woodland, preserving the habitat for the significant population of spotted salamanders was a key focus. The project also included the successful reintroduction of American toads, gray tree frogs, and spring peppers – all of which had disappeared from the cemetery due to past cemetery maintenance practices.

Dr. Barnett will share examples of other small-scale projects, ranging from a butterfly/pollinator garden to the replacement of turf with native species of groundcover, to the planting of bird-attracting trees and shrubs. Images from his own property in Boxborough will attempt to reiterate what last year’s Annual Meeting speaker, Doug Tallamy, told us about how all of us individually can “bring nature home” and make a difference in making the earth more resilient and wildlife friendly.

David Barnett, President & CEO Emeritus, Mt Auburn Cemetery, in the Dell