The Garden Club of America (GCA) announced that David P. Barnett, President & CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery, is the 2016 recipient of its Distinguished Service Medal. Previous recipients of this significant award, which was first given in 1953, include Thalassa Crusso Hencken (1970) of the television series “Making Things Grow,” Dr. J.C. Raulston (1993) director of the NCSU Arboretum, Marco Polo Stufano (1999) director of Wave Hill, and Florence Leanne Reed (2009), founder of Sustainable Harvest.
According to the GCA’s official announcement, “Dr. David Barnett is dedicated to ecological, historically sensitive improvements at the 175-acre Mount Auburn Cemetery. During his leadership, Mount Auburn has risen to the highest horticultural standards in its 184-year history.”
The GCA further writes that he has “reclaimed early nineteenth-century and late Victorian style rustic landscapes, restored monuments, and expanded the planting diversity. The wildlife habitats and popular contemporary gardens [he has implemented] encourage active cemetery use.”
The Garden Club of America’s Distinguished Service Medal is a significant honor within the horticultural community. The Cambridge Plant & Garden Club nominated Barnett for the award, which was supported by letters from the heads of six major public gardens as well as a celebrated landscape designer.
Dave will receive his Distinguished Service Medal from the Garden Club of America in Minneapolis, Minn., this May at the Club’s Annual Meeting.