The Olmsted’s Conservation Legacy was held at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. on September 9, 2022. The conference was co-sponsored by the National Association for Olmsted Parks (now the Olmsted Network) and the Architect of the Capitol.

Frederick Law Olmsted and his son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., played a significant role in establishing and creating our country’s national parks. Through a lively array of panel discussions, this conference explored the Olmsteds’ conservation legacy, as well as historic and current challenges to the public land ideal— including displacement, exclusion, public funding and climate change.  

Presentations included:

Olmsted Senior, the Conservation Movement and the National Parks Idea
Moderator: Dennis Drabelle, author, The Power of Scenery.
Panelists: Jason Newman, Superintendent, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site; and Rolf Diamant, co-author, Olmsted and Yosemite.  

Olmsted Junior, the Conservation Movement and State and National Parks
Moderator: Lauren Meier, historian and landscape architect.
Panelists: Elizabeth Hope Cushing, author, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr: Beauty, Efficiency and Economy and Refined Simplicity: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr’s Plan for the White House Grounds; and Sam Hodder, President and CEO, Save the Redwoods League. 

The Conservation Movement Today: Race, Class, Public Use and Environmental Protection Moderator: Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation.
Panelists: Philip Burnham, author, Indian Country, God’s Country: Native Americans and National Parks; Priscilla Solis Ybarra, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of North Texas; and Shelton A. Johnson, National Park ranger and educator, Yosemite National Park, U.S. National Park Service.

Watch the conference via C-SPAN here, and see photos from the event here.