Staff Spotlight – Carrie Tauscher

In 2023, we highlighted some of our great volunteers. For just a bit of 2024, we thought we would give shout outs to our staff of both the Foundation and the cemetery. This month, we highlight our tree loving friend, Carrie Tauscher, Arboretum Director for Crown Hill Foundation.

Arboretum Director Carrie Tauscher where she feels most at home — with trees.

Carrie is the first certified arborist working for the Foundation. She has been here just over two years, having come from the State’s Division of Forestry before this. Her background includes a degree in horticulture and landscape architecture from Iowa State University.

Carrie’s role at Crown Hill is the Director of the Crown Hill Arboretum, a certified Level II arboretum. Simply put, her role is to care for the existing trees and enhance the current canopy on site. She collaborates with our Directors of Preservation and Director of Education in meaningful ways to support each other’s program areas, as well as the cemetery staff in adopting the most up-to-date tree and landscape care practices, increasing our site’s biological sustainability.

When asked what is one of the most important lessons she has learned while working for the Foundation, Carrie stated: “People really do care about the history held and memorialized on this site. The more we make opportunities available, the more we find interested people willing to help in our efforts to protect and preserve this space.”

Carrie Tauscher (far right)

Carrie loves the northeast quadrant of the south side of the cemetery grounds. There are some absolutely massive specimen trees and some gnarly old redbuds that just keep kicking. There are also a high number of tree stump tombstone benches, which she has grown to really enjoy since starting to work at the cemetery.

Carrie loves working with the volunteers and other arborists that come out to care for our trees on site and volunteer during student events. The community and comradery make it worth all the work.

What’s something that might surprise most people about Carrie? Marching bands make her cry. She has so many memories and hours tied into being a marching band member and all the experiences she had. She is still connected to so many important people in her life because of her time with them in marching band. Carrie said, “Seeing these students brings up all these memories for me, and I can’t help it.”

Carrie’s most meaningful accomplishment is her support and coordination of events for others in the urban forestry and arboriculture community. Carrie is involved with climbing competitions, Saluting Branches (a group that does free tree work at veteran sites), and planting trees for schools, community organizations, and friends. She says she hopes that she has positively affected individuals and communities through her work. Her colleagues and peers know that she has!