The Olmsted Network (formerly the National Association for Olmsted Parks) is the first and only national organization dedicated to championing Olmsted parks, places and principles through advocacy, education and stewardship.

Our Story

Founded in 1980, the Olmsted Network— formerly the National Association for Olmsted Parks— became the first and only national organization focused on protecting parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and the Olmsted firm. These places suffered from underappreciation and were in disrepair and decay. To address this issue, we helped foster the emergence of park conservancies, friends groups and citizen volunteers to preserve neighborhood parks. We also created a permanent record of these landscapes thanks to the groundbreaking scholarship of Charles Beveridge, series editor of The Frederick Law Olmsted Papers.

Over the last 40 years, we have raised awareness through educational outreach and engaged in rapid-response advocacy across the country. Our thoughtful campaigns convinced the U.S. Postal Service to produce an Olmsted stamp (1999) and the National Park Service to establish Fairsted as the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (1979). Read more about our history!

In 2020, we took on a new role as managing partner of Olmsted’s bicentennial celebration— Olmsted 200: Parks for All People. In this position, we partnered with nine other national organizations to celebrate Olmsted’s living legacy and mark his 200th birthday in 2022. We joined with policy makers, public health professionals, community leaders and advocates to explore the many ways in which Olmsted’s values are relevant to 21st century America.

Today, our organization is tackling an ambitious five-year strategic plan. We’ve adopted a new name and tagline, and we’ve updated our mission and vision statements. We look forward to continuing to grow our network of partners, provide educational resources and respond to threats against Olmsted parks and places.

Mission Statement: Championing Olmsted parks, places and principles through advocacy, education and stewardship.

Vision: A world where communities are enriched by healthy, safe and inclusive green spaces inspired by the thoughtful advancement of Olmsted work and principles.

Values: Beautiful, safe and well-maintained parks and landscapes; stewardship informed by education and scholarship; community building and engagement; public and ecological health; collaborative and comprehensive planning; and accessible spaces welcoming to all people. We oppose privatization of public space.

Meet Caroline Loughlin

Caroline Loughlin joined the board of directors in 1989 and served two terms as co-chair. After Caroline died in 2013, the Loughlin family established The Caroline Loughlin Fund in her memory to support the organizations she valued and worked for during her life. The Olmsted Network, Olmsted 200, and the Olmsted Papers Project have received grants from the Fund since 2013. Read more about Caroline at the link below.


What They're Saying

“There is no substitute for the work Olmsted Network has done toward our shared understanding and indeed our lived experience of the [Olmsted] legacy.”  — Gary R. Hilderbrand, Principal, Reed Hilderbrand LLC; Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design


Awards Received

Since its inception, the Olmsted Network has received many distinguished awards.

2023 - Recognition Award, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice

Recognizing Olmsted 200 for its “efforts to preserve parks and green space….fundamental to the mental well-being of individuals.”

2022 - Olmsted Medal, American Society of Landscape Architects

Recognizing individuals, organizations, agencies or programs outside the profession of landscape architecture for environmental leadership, vision and stewardship.

2022 - Olmsted Award, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

Honoring those who protect the environment and preserve America’s historic treasures by fostering preservation in the community, and advocating for legislative, educational, administrative or other action that significantly promotes conservation and restoration of historic lands or properties.

2021 - Legacy Award, World Urban Parks

Recognizing leaders or leading organizations that, over a long period of time, have impacted parks and park management internationally and left a sustainable legacy.

2009 - Award of Excellence for Communications, Boston Society of Landscape Architects

Honoring The Master List of Design Projects of the Olmsted Firm, 1857-1979.

2008 - Medal of Excellence, American Society of Landscape Architects

Honoring significant and sustained contributions to landscape architecture policy, research, education, project planning and design throughout the United States.

2005 - Frederick Law Olmsted Award, Preservation Massachusetts

Recognizing restoration projects that have played an uncommon role in preserving the historic and cultural resources of the Commonwealth.


Meet our Network

The Olmsted Network lifts up Olmsted principles worldwide in service of thriving communities, mental and physical wellbeing and ecological health.