New Life for Old Cemeteries: Connecting Communities and Open Space Conference Day 2

Presentations Online 9 AM - 12:15 PM EST November 4 & 5; Afternoon Tour Options In Person at 2:00 PM EST

On-line Conference (with Optional cemetery tour at 2 PM)

Cemeteries in America date from the 1830s when increasingly, cities became too dense for respectable burials. “Rural” cemeteries were created outside city limits as eternal resting places for the dead. This was a time before there were public parks and art museums, and these rural cemeteries served as places for the living to escape the din of the industrial city and enter a space of peaceful contemplation amid winding roads and picturesque vistas. Cemeteries became destinations for families, where with picnic basket in tow, they would enjoy the sculptured monuments and beautifully designed botanical gardens.

Today, historic cemeteries continue to represent large portions of open space in many cities. Preserving this open space, particularly in an era of global climate change, is critical for the sustainability of urban communities. Cemeteries, especially during the recent pandemic, increasingly became places of refuge and recreation, peace, and connection. Caring for their living collections of canopy trees and shrubs, as well as the resting places of their dead, has never been more important.

Learn how cemeteries are an integral part of our urban infrastructure and ecosystem and how preserving and caring for these important open spaces are vital to the ecological, economic and social sustainability of communities today.

Who should attend: Staff and volunteers of primarily older/historic cemeteries, open space preservationists, historians, urban planners, and monument proponents who see the cultural value in commemorating people buried in cemeteries.

For complete conference Agenda click HERE.

Fee: $65 for two days- Includes one tour per day

$35 for one day- Incudes one tour

$20 per day Student rate- Includes one tour per day

Speakers:

Kate Benisek is a civic ecologist, urban horticulturist, and landscape architect in academic practice. Kate is an assistant professor of instruction and faculty member at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture.

Joseph Charap is Green-Wood Cemetery’s Director of Horticulture and Curator.

Sean Connolly is Executive Director of Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust.

Cara Ferrentino is a Program Officer at the William Penn Foundation. Cara’s work supports Philadelphia’s public spaces - parks, libraries, recreation centers, plazas, gardens and public pathways - and the communities they serve.

Aaron Greenberg is the Arboretum Manager at West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home and Laurel Hill Cemetery and is an International Society of Arboriculture Board Certified Master Arborist.

Roy J. Ingraffia, Jr. is the National Director of Industry Development at the International Masonry Institute.

Elizabeth Milroy teaches courses in the history of Western art with a specialty in art and material culture in North American from the colonial period to the 20th century. Her research focuses on the history of cultural spaces, specifically public parks and historic sites in Philadelphia.

Monica Rhodes is nationally known for spearheading efforts to connect communities around the country with historic places. As the Director of Resource Management at the National Park Foundation (NPF), Rhodes oversees grant-making to historic properties and develops strategies for preserving cultural heritage.

Robin Rick is Facility and Landscape Manager at the Woodlands. Robin helps maintain the site’s historically significant features - buildings and trees - while welcoming daily use by the community and visitors.

Conference Co-Sponsors:

Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust

Historic Eden Cemetery

Laurel Hill Cemetery and West Laurel Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

The Woodlands

Register Now 



    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at 10:00 am

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel…

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    Boneyard Bookworms

    Book Club at West Laurel Hill Cemetery on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 6:00 pm

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    Sacred Spaces and Storied Places

    Walking Tour at West Laurel Hill Cemetery on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 10:00 am

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    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sunday, August 29, 2021, at 11:00 am

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    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    5Rhythms Wave Class

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    The Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries are partnering with 5 Rhythms to explore the joy of dance through a waves class, once a month from March to November. Join us for ecstatic move…

    Read MorePurchase Tickets


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    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sunday, September 5 , 2021, at 11:00 am

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    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    Virtual Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Virtual Program on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 6:00 pm

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    Behind the Name: Philadelphia Schools

    A Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 11:00 am

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    Auld Lang Syne: Scottish Residents at Laurel Hill

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    Members-Only-Graveyard Getaway: Eden’s Cemetery

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    Sacred Spaces and Storied Places

    Walking Tour at West Laurel Hill Cemetery on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 10:00 am

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    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    5Rhythms Wave Class

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    Read MoreBuy Tickets


    Rest In Peace 5K

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    Candlelight Halloween: Haunted Classic Music

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    *Please note* Candlelight Concerts: A Fever Original Event is renting the cemetery grounds for this production and is not affiliated or produced by Laurel Hill Cemetery or the Friends of Laurel Hill &…

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    Candlelight Halloween: Haunted Classical Music

    October 7, 8, 10, & 27 6:30PM & 9:00PM Showings

    *Please note* Candlelight Concerts: A Fever Original Event is renting the cemetery grounds for this production and is not affiliated or produced by Laurel Hill Cemetery or the Friends of Laurel Hill &…

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    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 1:00 pm

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel…

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    Dearly, Yet Oddly Departed (More Tickets Added!)

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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    Candlelight Halloween: Haunted Classical Music

    October 7, 8, 10, & 27 6:30PM & 9:00PM Showings

    *Please note* Candlelight Concerts: A Fever Original Event is renting the cemetery grounds for this production and is not affiliated or produced by Laurel Hill Cemetery or the Friends of Laurel Hill &…

    Read MoreRegister Now


    2021 Gravediggers' Ball

    2021 Gravediggers’ Ball

    6 PM

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    Sacred Stone: Laurel Hill as a Sculpture Garden

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sunday, October 17, 2021, at 10:00 am

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    Sacred Spaces and Storied Places

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    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    Fall Foliage Tour of West Laurel Hill Cemetery

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    The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson

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    5Rhythms Wave Class

    Dance Class at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sunday, October 24, 2021, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    The Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries are partnering with 5 Rhythms to explore the joy of dance through a waves class, once a month from March to November. Join us for ecstatic move…

    Read MoreTickets Coming Soon!


    Candlelight Halloween: Haunted Classical Music

    October 7, 8, 10, & 27 6:30PM & 9:00PM Showings

    *Please note* Candlelight Concerts: A Fever Original Event is renting the cemetery grounds for this production and is not affiliated or produced by Laurel Hill Cemetery or the Friends of Laurel Hill &…

    Read MoreRegister Now


    Sinners and Scandals

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    Fall Family Day

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    Death Café

    Virtual Program on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at 6:00 pm

    Death Café is a unique opportunity for the public to meet and discuss death. For this installment, we are meeting virtually on Zoom! This group-led discussion has no specific agenda and serves as a w…

    Read MoreRSVP


    Fall Foliage Tour of Laurel Hill Cemetery

    Arbor Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 1:00 PM

    Join our Arboretum Manager, Aaron Greenberg, on a brisk autumn walk through the peak fall colors of some of the great trees of Laurel Hill Cemetery. Fall is a beautiful time to explore our tree collec…

    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    Marine Corps Anniversary Service

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    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 1:00 pm

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laure…

    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    Virtual Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Virtual Program on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? But now, you don’t need to leave the comfort of y…

    Read MoreRSVP


    Sacred Spaces and Storied Places

    Walking Tour at West Laurel Hill Cemetery on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    The expansion of Fairmount Park in the 1860s prevented further growth of Laurel Hill, and in 1869 West Laurel Hill was established just across the river in Bala Cynwyd. This walking tour provides a wo…

    Read MorePurchase Tickets