Toolkit for Advocates
More than ever before, parks and green spaces are critical to individual well-being, strong communities, vibrant economies, and a healthy planet. Use the tools and templates below to help advocate for parks and places in your community.
The resources in this toolkit are helpful for anyone looking to revitalize a public landscape. However, the Olmsted Network is focused on protecting Olmsted parks and places. If you are dealing with a threatened Olmsted landscape, please reach out to us for guidance.
Save a Landscape
You can help a local park in ways that range from formal commitments of time and resources to simpler one-off volunteer opportunities.
Form a Friends Group
Develop stronger community support for your park or landscape by creating a “Friends of” group. These types of organizations can give you a mechanism for generating investment and ensuring that the space is cared for and maintained through volunteer programs.
Organize a Lobby Day
Grassroots lobbying is one of the most effective tools for persuading legislators and other elected leaders. A group of constituents coming together to make their voices heard about the importance of parks and park funding can send a powerful signal to policymakers and their staff. Download this guide to prepare and maximize your effectiveness.
Here are samples and templates you can use to write letters to state and local officials to seek historic designation for a site, advocate for the creation of a master plan, outline the need for more park funding or express concern about proposed construction in the park.
Introduce your community to Frederick Law Olmsted and his vision of parks for all people by hosting a watch party for Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America or Olmsted & America’s Urban Parks. You can also download the Frederick Law Olmsted: Landscapes for the Public Good exhibit for free. Small events like this can help people understand and appreciate the history of their local greenspaces and the importance of parks for public health.
Consider other ways that you might draw attention to your advocacy work. Tactics like social media or reaching out to local media can be beneficial. By connecting your advocacy goals to timely events, you can highlight your issue’s importance and urgency. Here are some tips for writing op-eds and letters to the editor.
National Parks Conservation Association
We’ve scoured the internet so that you don’t have to! From funding opportunities to information on park equity, you can find a plethora of resources in our partner toolkit.
If you are working to save an Olmsted landscape, consider using research tools— like Olmsted Online— to learn more about your site and its Olmsted history. From locating the original plans to learning more about its designers, these resources can help you understand the integrity of your site.
Consider the ways that you might engage local students in your project. Does your city have a local scout group that would volunteer for the afternoon? Maybe there’s a historic preservation or landscape architecture program near you that could help with protection or planning? The following resources may spur ideas for how to get young people interested in your landscape.
Visit our comprehensive digital platform of Olmsted projects.