“Historic cemetery” and “environmental sustainability” may not often go together in many folk’s minds, but at Historic Oakland Foundation, we recognize our responsibility as environmental stewards. The earth is a finite resource, and the negative consequences of climate change will be felt unevenly across society. To honor these facts, as we grow as an organization, we are
- Getting serious about recycling. We have been too haphazard in our approach to recycling in recent years. In partnership with friends at Novelis, we’ll now be placing dedicated recycling bins around Oakland, especially at our special events.
- Refining our mulching. We’ve been composting all of the downed leaves from Oakland in our operations area and using them to mulch our gardens. While we continue to be confined by space, we’re working with our partners in the City to refine this process and are thinking about how to use other green waste on-site.
- Designing a greener new building. As we complete the design of the new Oakland Cemetery Visitor Center, we are paying special attention to opportunities to maximize the new building’s sustainability. Current plans include solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, ample bike fix-it stations and racks, bioretention gardens to capture and divert rainwater away from the sewer system, and pollinator gardens around the building. We’re also engaging with a consultant to help us “future proof” the building.
- Planning for sustainability education. As we get ready to build our new building we’re also planning for educational signage and programming that can help our visitors understand these efforts and the importance of sustainable practices.
- Tackling our stormwater challenges. As we anticipate repairing and repaving Oakland’s roads (more on the City of Atlanta’s May infrastructure bond next month!), we’re also thinking seriously about how to improve the historic stormwater and sewer system that runs beneath Oakland to help protect Atlanta’s waterways.
We are looking forward to continuing to use Oakland Cemetery as a valuable resource to educate about environmental sustainability and to working with new and existing partners to refine our operations to reduce any negative impacts on the environment.
If you’d like to help us in this work we’d be most grateful. Please reach out anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org.