Olmsted Park
Boston, Massachusetts
Emerald Necklace
Boston, Massachusetts
United States

Located in the Northeastern United States, the Emerald Necklace is a 1,100-acre chain of parks linked by parkways and waterways.

About the Emerald Necklace

Boston’s park system was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted between 1878 and 1896. Later coined the Emerald Necklace, this 7-mile-long chain of parks, parkways and waterways includes the Back Bay Fens (and Charlesgate Park), the Riverway, Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park. The system spans over 1,000 acres and accounts for half of the City of Boston’s park acreage.

The Emerald Necklace is one of the nation’s earliest examples of green infrastructure— using organic materials such as stone, earth and plants to help absorb water and filter pollutants. This innovative, interconnected system of waterways and parkland not only improved the sanitation of a rapidly-expanding Boston but also formed a linked series of parks, allowing residents to enjoy a once-polluted and unwelcoming part of their city. 

The Necklace was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Olmsted Park System in 1971, while the Fens and Franklin Park are Boston Landmarks. In 1996, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy was created to protect, restore, maintain and promote the park system. Today, with the help of local agencies and stewardship groups like the conservancy, the Emerald Necklace continues to serve its purpose of flood protection and water management for more than a dozen neighborhoods in Boston and the surrounding areas.



    Fenway Victory Gardens by Evan Bradley

    Evan Bradley

    Evan Bradley


Dunn Gardens

The grounds of the Dunn family’s summer estate were designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in 1916. 

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site  

Fairsted— now called the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site— houses a massive collection of approximately 1,000,000 working documents.