Cemetery Landscape Preservation Workshop

July 29 – 31, 2009
Brookline, Massachusetts

$399 – Registration

Deadline: July 10, 2009

Hands-on training for the issues you are facing today

Hands-on training

Hands-on training

Improper cemetery maintenance can jeopardize the landscape’s historic character and irreversibly damage historic features. Join us for a 2 1/2-day workshop in Brookline, Massachusetts to learn the basics of cemetery landscape preservation.

The workshop will take place in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Town of Brookline Parks and Open Space Division at The Old BurialGround in Brookline, Mass., July 29-31, 2009. Instruction will include lecture, demonstration, and hands-on sessions.

Topics Covered:

Day 1

  • Cemetery Etiquette & Saftey
  • Hazardous Tree Assessment
  • Basics of Monument Care
  • Maintenance of the Old Burying Ground
  • Monument Materials & Threats
  • Invasive Plant Removal

Day 2

  • Mature Tree Care
  • History of American Cemetery Design
  • Cemetery Preservation Planning
  • The Old Burying Ground Gravestone Conservation Plan
  • Tree Care Techniques
  • Monument Cleaning
  • Iron Fence Care

Learn in a Historic Context

Old Burying Grounds

Old Burying Grounds

Afternoon demonstration and hands-on sessions will be held in the Old Burying Grounds, located within the Brookline Town Green Historic District. Established in 1717, the 1.43 acre historic cemetery includes stately old trees, two hillocks with rows of vaulted tombs, and a collection of slate, marble, granite, and sandstone markers. The landscape reflects the ideals of the 19th century rural cemetery movement overlaid upon an early colonial burying ground.

Morning lecture sessions will be held at the Brookline Town Hall.

Tour Historic Mount Auburn Cemetery

Mount Auburn Cemetery, c. 1880s

Mount Auburn Cemetery, c. 1880s

Founded in 1831, Mount Auburn Cemetery was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in the United States. As a premier example of the rural cemetery movement, the cemetery has been designed as a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior, recognizing it as one of the country’s most significant cultural landscapes.

Cemetery staff will lead workshop participants on a back-of-house preservation tour, focusing on challenges faced by Mount Auburn as stewards of a historic cemetery landscape comprised of a rich array of structures set intimately within magnificent horticulture.

Tour will take place Friday morning, July 31, 2009

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: July 10, 2009

Course fee covers instruction, tour of Mount Auburn Cemetery, course notebook, and session breaks.

Workshop Instructors

Debbie Smith

Debbie Smith

Debbie Smith is Chief of the Historic Landscapes Program at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), a National Park Service center located in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Debbie coordinates the Center’s historic landscapes training program. Prior to coming to the Center in May 2007, Debbie was a historical landscape architect with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work at the Olmsted Center included property research, analysis of historic character, and treatment recommendations for National Park Service historic sites. Project sites included Minute Man National Historical Park (Concord, Mass.); Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Empire, Mich.); Gettysburg National Military Park (Gettysburg, Pa.); and Denali National Park and Preserve (Alaska). Debbie holds a masters degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan.

Jason Church

Jason Church is a Materials Conservator in the Materials Research Program at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). Jason’s focus is in the coordination and development of the Center’s national cemetery training initiative and related research. His love of cemeteries started at an early age with a fourth grade project on Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington, NC. Since then he has concentrated his training as a conservator on the care of cemeteries with special attention placed on cemetery ironwork. Before joining NCPTT, Jason was a conservator in the City of Savannah, Ga., Department of Cemeteries. He earned his M.F.A. in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Dan McCarthy

Dan McCarthy is the Gardener Supervisor of the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, the cultural landscape program in the Northeast Region of the National Park Service. In this capacity, Dan provides technical assistance on cultural landscape issues; performs comprehensive condition assessments of the landscape features; manages, organizes and coordinates field projects that promote the stabilization and preservation of important landscapes; coordinates education and training programs for National Park Service Staff to become skilled preservation maintenance professionals; and manages the Historic Plant Nursery Program. His work has included preservation maintenance field projects at over 45 National Parks in 16 states, and is credited with training 24 NPS staff to become certified arborists. Dan is a certified arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and practices Preservation Arborculture in the National Park Service. He has been recognized with several national and regional awards for his initiatives and accomplishments in cultural landscape preservation, including an award for Professional Excellence in Cultural Resource Management in 2003.

Jamie McGuane

Jamie McGuane is a Work Leader for the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation. Jamie assists with numerous cultural landscape projects at the Olmsted Center, including condition assessments, technical assistance, organizing and coordinating field projects, education and training programs, and management of the Historic Plant Nursery Program. He is a certified arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and practices Preservation Arboriculture in the National Park Service. Before coming to work for the Olmsted Center, Jamie worked for 6 years at 3 National Historic Sites in the Boston area: Longfellow, Kennedy, and Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Sites.

Martha Lyon

Martha Lyon

Martha H. Lyon, ASLA manages Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture, LCC, in Northampton, Massachusetts. Certified as a Woman-Owned Business Entity (WBE), the firm specializes in design, preservation and planning of historic parks, streetscapes, cemeteries, estates and settings for public buildings. Significant cemetery restoration projects include Valley and Pine Grove Cemeteries (Manchester, N.H.); the Winthrop Street Cemetery (Provincetown, Mass.); Grace Church Cemetery in Providence (R.I.); Vine Lake Cemetery (Medfield, Mass.); and the First Parish Burial Ground of Gloucester (Mass.). The firm’s master plans for Valley Cemetery and the First Parish Burial Ground received preservation awards. Martha holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture and is registered to practice landscape architecture in the State’s of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. She has published articles and delivered lectures on historic landscapes, and is an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts.

Charles Pepper

Charles Pepper

Charles Pepper is the Deputy Director of the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation (OCLP). Charles co-manages Olmsted Center programs and projects that promote the preservation of important landscapes through research, planning, stewardship and education. He is active in the development of methodologies that effectively integrate traditional horticulture with preservation practice. Charles has degrees in plant science, horticulture and landscape management from the State University of New York and Cornell University. He has been recognized with several national and regional awards for his initiatives and accomplishments in cultural landscape preservation. Charles was also selected to represent the US National Park Service on a mission to Angkor Wat, Cambodia to assist with the conservation of cultural landscapes and historic trees associated with the centuries old temple and palaces at this World Heritage Site.

Bob Mackenzie has been a gardener at Adams National Historical Park for 18 years and is a graduate of the National Park Service’s gardener intake program. In addition to his duties at Adams, Bob has worked with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation on numerous preservation maintenance projects in the Northeast Region. He has coordinated orchard restoration projects that have included both classroom and field training for NPS maintenance personnel.

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6 Responses to Cemetery Landscape Preservation Workshop

  1. [...] the National Park Service recently hosted a national conference about cemetery preservation (http://ncptt.nps.gov/index.php/cemetery-landscape-preservation-workshop/ ). But even well-meaning people can go off track: I think of a large church cemetery north of [...]

  2. Hurst Groves says:

    Do you have any plans to repeat this workshop in 2010 or later?

  3. sharon cushing says:

    Just found this information and sorry that I had missed it. I would be interested to know if such a workshop will be offered anytime soon.

  4. katharine olinchak says:

    Do you plan to have a book or pamplete printed? Doing restoration in Wilmington DE and am looking for resources to appreciate the why and also preserve the horticulture of Riverview Cemetery which had its first burial in 1872.

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