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Olmsted 200

Welcome to Olmsted 200!

Olmsted 200 is no sepia-toned bicentennial celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted and his legacy. The national campaign focuses on the future of parks and open spaces around the United States.

In the face of a global pandemic, Olmsted’s parks and places have never been more critical.  And, as we have seen in recent months, they are not luxuries. They are – as Olmsted understood – essential to well-being. That’s why, over the next two years, we aim to inspire a dynamic conversation about the role of parks and greenspace.

Our focus is, of course, on Olmsted and the legacy of landscapes and ideas. But even more, our focus is on the lessons we can learn and apply from Olmsted’s work and legacy. In the late 19th century, Olmsted addressed social and environmental crises analogous to those we face today. He understood that thoughtful design can have an immense impact on social, cultural and ecological challenges.

Olmsted’s vision of public parks – in cities across the nation – took shape during and after the Civil War when the country was deeply divided. For Olmsted, parks were “democratic spaces” where all Americans could come together.

We are dedicated to helping everyone get to know FLO and to exploring the great relevance of Olmsted’s thinking and values to 21st-century challenges.

The National Association for Olmsted Parks is the managing partner of this celebration, and we are honored to be joined by nine other national partners, including the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, American Public Health Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, City Parks Alliance, Landscape Architecture Foundation, National Recreation and Park Association, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, The Garden Club of America and The Trust for Public Land. 

The website, and this blog, Shared Spaces, will serve as the informational hub for the national campaign. 

Here you can learn more about the life and work of Frederick Law Olmsted, his sons, colleagues and successor firms.

You can find parks and places designed by FLO and The Olmsted Firm across the country — using Olmsted Online and the Olmsted Network.

You can explore national, state and local parks and learn how FLO and his sons were instrumental in creating the national park system and preserving scenic spaces for all Americans.

And you can learn more about Olmsted’s design principles.

Olmsted’s parks and places are so natural that many people today assume they have been here forever. However, they are part of a built environment and embody conscious principles designed to advance health and well-being.

Can you distinguish an Olmsted design from other designs? We invite you to read on and learn how.   

We also urge you to visit Olmsted parks and places.

We hope you will take advantage of hundreds of events scheduled across the country.

We encourage you to share your experiences and follow us on social media — Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

And we urge you to join us. Become a celebration partner, use our branding tools and engage your community using our Celebration, Social Media and Advocacy Toolkits.

Olmsted’s vision and values can play a vital role in promoting social justice, equality and addressing climate change in our times. Olmsted 200 allows all of us to renew our commitment to these public spaces and to protect and preserve them for future generations.

Please join us!