Mount Auburn Cemetery’s New Greenhouse
On Saturday, April 6th Mount Auburn Cemetery celebrated the opening of its new Greenhouse along Grove Street in Watertown with an Open House. The new facility replaces Mount Auburn’s previous 41-year-old facility at the same location. Following a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 PM, the public was invited to tour the new facility, hearing from Mount Auburn’s own horticultural staff about the building and Mount Auburn’s nationally-recognized horticulture program, known for its sustainable maintenance practices.
Mount Auburn’s new Greenhouse, a 9,500 square-foot facility comprised of four adjoining glass-houses exemplifies cutting-edge greenhouse construction. Among its many features are open-roof venting, side-wall and ceiling curtains, high-efficiency boilers for radiant floor heating to create the most energy-efficient climate-controlled environment, and a below-ground 30,000 gallon cistern for collecting rainwater from the greenhouse roofs to irrigate the growing plants inside. The new facility will also allow Mount Auburn’s horticultural staff to expand its existing ecological practices, including the use of beneficial insects (rather than chemical pesticides) to combat insect infestations and the production of compost and compost teas. As part of its commitment to the community, Mount Auburn’s professional staff shares its expertise in sound ecological practices with other botanical gardens, landscape professionals, and home gardeners.
The Cemetery’s new Greenhouse has been funded through a combination of fundraising and institutional support and comprises the first phase of a larger Horticulture Center, a complex designed by award-winning architects William Rawn and Associates to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification. Mount Auburn’s existing horticulture program, its new Greenhouse, and its future Horticulture Center represent the Cemetery’s commitment to sustainability and to being a leader in demonstrating and promoting environmentally sensitive practices. The construction of the new facility, which began in June of 2012, has been managed by Consigli Construction, Co., Inc.