Meet our Olmsted 200 Honorary Committee! 

Betsy Shure Gross
Founding Board Member and Former Co-Chair
National Association for Olmsted Parks

Betsy Shure Gross grew up playing in Olmsted parks, but it wasn’t until she moved a block and a half from Boston’s Emerald Necklace that she fully realized who Olmsted was and his importance.

“The most exquisite component of Olmsted’s vision for me is the fact that his parks are places where there really is democracy in dirt, where everyone is welcome…It’s one of the few places left in society where you can spend as much time as you want and have no cost except for interest and commitment. So, his vision of parks for people— all kinds of people— was always critical for me.” 

The years that followed Gross’ move to Boston were some of the most significant in the movement to restore and protect historic landscapes— and she was there for them all. In Boston, she witnessed the National Park Service acquire Fairsted and its incredible collection of archives. She joined like-minded individuals to create the National Association for Olmsted Parks, and she traveled the country to meet government officials and advocate for the protection of Olmsted parks and places. 

“My entire professional life but also my personal life has been influenced by Mr. Olmsted,” she said. “Part of the process of getting to know scholars and preservationists and community activists meant that we created a network that’s both professional and personal.” 

Watch the full interview here: