Each year, the Olmsted Network aims to honor the often-unsung heroes of Olmsted parks and places with a round of awards. This year, in 2023, we are proud to recognize Constance Guardi, Arleyn Levee, Friends of Olmsted-Beil House, Lake Park Friends and the Washington Park Camera Club Archives Committee for their extraordinary dedication to Olmsted’s work, vision and values.  

Caroline Loughlin Volunteer Service Award | Constance Guardi | Riverside, IL 
Guardi has worked with the Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside, Illinois, and the Riverside Historical Commission to preserve and protect Olmsted’s first planned community for nearly four decades. Her activities have included expanding Riverside’s historic designation, participating in volunteer workdays, curating the library’s Olmsted collection and offering regular tours. She is the author of the Arcadia guide to Riverside. 

Olmsted Stewardship Award | Arleyn Levee | Boston, MA 
For half a century, Levee has produced ground-breaking research on John Charles Olmsted and the Olmsted firm, helping to preserve and interpret the Olmsteds for future generations. Her life’s work includes nearly 40 years of service to the Olmsted Network as well as extended dedication to the Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee for Boston’s Muddy River and the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.  

President’s Award | Friends of Olmsted-Beil House | Staten Island, NY 
Over the past five years, the Friends of Olmsted-Beil House have taken extraordinary steps to protect and preserve Frederick Law Olmsted’s farmhouse on Staten Island. The group has established robust community support, secured historic designation and overcome significant challenges of decay and vandalism to protect the farmhouse and property around it where Olmsted first experimented with techniques and ideas that later informed his landscape designs.  

Certificate of Appreciation | Lake Park Friends | Milwaukee, WI  
Since its founding in 1996, Lake Park Friends has spearheaded park projects, community engagement, stewardship and advocacy to sustain the historic park and its natural assets. Recently, the group completed several major stewardship initiatives, including the restoration and preservation of the Ravine Bridge and the return of the Christian Wahl bust to the park. Through these efforts, Lake Park Friends has exemplified the critical role volunteers play in protecting Olmsted parks and places. 

Certificate of Appreciation | Washington Park Camera Club Archives Committee | Chicago, IL  
Employing the Chicago Park District’s collection of archival photographs, the Washington Park Camera Club produced a moving and visually rich video, South Park Then & Now, to capture the park’s past and present. The video was produced for Olmsted’s bicentennial in 2022 but continues to educate the public on Chicago’s significant landscape history. The club is the oldest predominantly African- American camera club in Chicagoland. 

These five honorees— many of whom steward Olmsted landscapes in the Midwest— represent individuals and organizations who have helped raise the visibility of Olmsted in extraordinary ways. We are thankful for the work they do, and we look forward to recognizing them at a dinner on September 21 at the Grohmann Museum in Milwaukee, WI, as part of The Olmsteds in Wisconsin.  

To learn more about our awards or see previous recipients, please visit our website at https://olmsted.org/our-story/awards/.