Back Bay Fens is part of the Emerald Necklace park system in Boston, MA.

Climate change is a real and present danger to America’s urban parks as outlined in the New York Times’ recent story Designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Morningside is dealing with toxic algal blooms as other parks face high temperatures, pathogens and invasives— threatening the health and safety of communities which rely on these green spaces for mental and physical well-being.  

The good news is that the Olmsted Network of parks and landscapes is also on the front lines of addressing climate change. Olmsted created nature-based solutions long before the term “climate change” came into being, and his landscapes are pointing the way to greater resilience. The Muddy River Restoration Projectin Boston is dredging, daylighting culverts and removing invasives so that Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace can naturally manage water runoff. The Central Park Climate Lab is preparing “urban parks for disruptive climate events,” and Planting Fields Foundation on Long Island is revisiting the plant palette to ensure that new trees withstand the pressure of climate change.   

As the threats of climate change increase, supporting Olmsted parks and places— and the groups who steward them— has never been more important. In our efforts to provide resources (see our recent Conversations with Olmsted: Olmsted Parks & Climate Change webinar), we welcome your help.  

Consider making a gift today so that the Olmsted Network can continue championing Olmsted parks, places and principles through advocacy, education and stewardship.  

Anne Neal Petri is the president and CEO of the Olmsted Network, the first and only national organization dedicated to championing Olmsted parks and places through advocacy, education and stewardship.