Mt Auburn Cemetery monument

A Special Cemetery

It’s not so much that Mt. Auburn looks like a park, but that parks were created to look like cemeteries – Bree Harvey

I have to admit, I’ve always been afraid of cemeteries. I found them creepy, scary and I would avoid them at all costs. Things changed a few years ago when I discovered Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge MA. This is not just a cemetery; it’s a park, a botanical garden, and a bird sanctuary all in one.

Founded in 1831 as America’s first garden cemetery, it has more than 10 miles of roads and paths. Over 175 acres of hills, ponds, and wooded areas make this cemetery an ideal place for a leisurely walk during a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Here are the reasons why this cemetery is special:

1. People

Writers, educators, artists, and inventors are among the over 95,000 individuals buried and commemorated at Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Mt Auburn Cemetery Graves

2. Vegetation

Over 1500 well-kept shrubs and plants, along with many species of trees make this cemetery comparable to botanical gardens. Some trees and plants are even tagged with labels with their names.

Mt Auburn Cemetery Tree


3. Monuments

There are more than 44,000 monuments large and small that commemorate the legacies of those buried here. Many are pretty imposing and each tells a story about the person buried there.  Mt. Auburn is a collection of 19th, 20th and 21st century architecture and memorials.

Mt Auburn Cemetery Statue

4. Birds

Between mid-April and mid-May this cemetery becomes one of the best bird watching locations in the area. Hundreds of birders come here every year to enjoy many species of birds. The birds use Mt. Auburn as a place to rest and feed on their way from Central and South America to the forests of Canada.

Bird

5. Views

You can enjoy beautiful views of Boston from the top of the hill.

Mt Auburn Cemetery Boston View

Whether or not you like cemeteries, I highly recommend visiting  Mt. Auburn Cemetery next time you  visit the Boston area.  It’s truly unique and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. You can find more details about the cemetery here.

Check out your local cemeteries for opportunities to shoot photos of trees, monuments and birds.

For more photography tips and ideas, check out my latest photography book, Picture (Im)perfect Photographynow available at Amazon.

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