Sustainability

Laurel Hill’s commitment to sustainability extends to all areas of our organization. Building on many years of progress, our staff regularly convenes to assess and monitor activities in three areas: Energy & Waste Management, Land Conservation, and Employee Wellness & Engagement.

Sustainability
Mission

To embrace and implement strategies that positively exhibit our social, environmental, and economic values in support of our families, employees, and the community in perpetuity.

Certifications
& Awards

  • The Arboretum at Laurel Hill is a member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance 
  • Nature’s Sanctuary, Laurel Hill West’s green burial section, is SITES Gold Certified — the first cemetery to ever achieve SITES Gold status
  • Nature’s Sanctuary was selected for a Merit Award from the ASLA in the General Design Category
  • Nature’s Sanctuary was awarded the Bowman’s Hill Land Ethics Award for Best Large Scale Project
  • Nancy Goldenberg, President and CEO, serves on the Sustainability Steering Committee of Lower Merion Township

Energy & Waste
Management

A range of battery-powered equipment is utilized at both cemeteries: Augers are used for digging holes to plant perennials and shrubs;  mowers used to mow grass at Nature’s Sanctuary and Medallion Garden; multi-tool with string-trimmer, hedge trimmer, and blade trimmer used in Nature’s Sanctuary and throughout cemetery; and chainsaw.

The horticulture team uses hundreds of gallons of horticultural vinegar as a replacement to glyphosate (RoundUp®) for weed control. There are also occupancy sensors in key public areas to reduce energy use due to lighting.

Land Conservation

At Laurel Hill, we understand the importance and value of the land and do our best to keep it healthy and productive. We focus on biodiversity protection and enhancement, reducing our carbon footprint, and maintaining a recreational and visually-pleasing venue for our visitors.

TreeKeeper is used to manage and measure the environmental impact of our plant collections. You can see the real-time benefits of our collection here: TreeKeeper

Thousands of tulip, daffodil, hyacinth, and lily bulbs have been repurposed from spring containers since 2019.

Invasive plant species such as Norway Maples (Acer platanoides), Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus) have been continuously remove

The Friends of Laurel Hill received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)’s Greenways, Trails, and Recreation program. The grant will support the removal of invasive vegetation and the installation of approximately three acres of native landscape on the slopes of Laurel Hill East along Kelly Drive and West Hunting Avenue. This project will begin in Spring 2022.

Employee Wellness
& Engagement

Our Progress: 

  • Team building event with Outward Bound at the Discovery Center in East Fairmount Park. Our staff got to know each other better, take deeper breaths, and refocus on how we can better ourselves and the team through conversation, working together, and outdoor activities
  • We also hold ongoing trainings around important DEI topics for mental health in the workplace: Unconscious Bias, Microaggressions, and Empathy & Sensitivity Awareness
  • We offer presentations about land conservation/horticultural activities to broader communities