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2022 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, America’s visionary maker of parks and public places. Through a yearlong platform of big ideas and bold actions, Olmsted Now—Greater Boston’s Olmsted Bicentennial—will shape a shared vision for an equitable, vibrant and verdant city.

Olmsted Now

Olmsted Now, Greater Boston’s Olmsted Bicentennial, is an urgent opportunity to build an inclusive coalition of civic, non-profit and community partners, all of whom have a stake in the future of parks and public places.

Frederick Law Olmsted would have turned 200 on April 26, 2022. Much has changed in the centuries since his birth. Yet the ideas central to Olmsted’s work are still relevant today: from encouraging social exchange to building healthy environments. The bicentennial year is a time to collectively grapple with what parks and public places will mean for years to come. It is Greater Boston’s moment to affirm and advance Olmsted’s impact on civic life and public health, engage residents in learning about this common resource and intentionally build resilient and inclusive places together.


Olmsted Now is a coalition-led effort to make parks and public spaces better for all through shared use, shared health and shared power. This ambition demands honesty and openness. To that end, Olmsted Now is guided by the following values:

Practice makes progress. Olmsted was accomplished but by no means perfect. His work and his views — spanning journalism and abolition, public health and emergency relief, urban planning and natural preservation, art and ultimately landscape architecture — shifted over time. Olmsted Now looks back at this body of work from the perspective of our current moment. Olmsted Now is also a human experiment, a safe space to question and critique with care.

Land stewardship is living wisdom. For millennia before Olmsted’s work, people have been stewarding the lands and waters that now comprise the many parks across Greater Boston. This remains the traditional and unceded territory of the Massachusett tribe, and a site of exchange with the Nipmuc and Wampanoag tribes. It is fundamental to both acknowledge these legacies and actively seek right relations with local Indigenous leaders as a way to re-center understandings of shared open space. This acknowledgement will evolve with shared learning.

“The fierce urgency of now.” Olmsted Now is driven by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 caution against acting too late to correct long-standing injustices. The time is now to explore how Olmsted’s ideals for parks and open space relate to today’s calls for environmental justice and spatial justice. These movements counter disparities in people’s access to healthy environments or freedoms within public space based on race, culture, class, ability or gender identity.

Diverse perspectives strengthen focus. Olmsted valued thinking across professional disciplines and lived experiences. Olmsted Now is likewise a product of multiple voices. It is a platform to prioritize people, process and partnership over the production of big projects. All outreach, internal planning decisions and external programming is guided by an equity agenda that explicitly centers those best positioned to assess and lead impact in communities: neighborhood youth, elders, activists, artists and others who have been shut out from positions of power.

Meet Olmsted

Even if you’ve never heard of Olmsted, chances are you’ve met him—while sitting on a park lawn, walking to work or exploring a new neighborhood.

You have likely encountered the legacy of more than 5,000 projects that Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. (April 26, 1822 – August 28, 1903), his sons, mentees and successors in his Brookline firm designed across 45 states and several countries. Olmsted created the field known as “landscape architecture,” a discipline that continues to shape how people experience and participate in the shared places of cities.

When we step into an Olmsted park, street or neighborhood, we not only enter into a physical space but engage with an idea. Working in an age of urbanization and industrialization, Olmsted saw public places — and parks in particular — as the “self-preserving instinct of civilization.” These shared landscapes continue to serve us as sites of recreation and relief, of cultural life and natural beauty, of coming together and being seen.


Parks and public places are where we come together or enjoy solitude. In that spirit, the site’s user-generated content is a reflection of both common purpose and private moments: stories you have generously shared. The many sources, opinions and links aggregated here by Olmsted Now have been reviewed to ensure they advance the values of the Bicentennial; however, contributors retain rights and responsibility for the content provided. Olmsted Now welcomes a robust dialogue in this virtual public space.

“Who drew That?”

Drawings that bring lightness, humor and curiosity to the Olmsted Now website were created by two artists with Boston roots: Ben Jundanian and Duke Riley. Olmsted Now looks forward to working with more local artists in the coming year.


Press Releases

05/26/2023: Emerald Necklace Conservancy Invites All to Explore Equity Achievements, Learnings and Commitments in Olmsted Now Impact Report

08/11/2022: Upcoming Events Awarded through the Olmsted Now Parks Equity & Spatial Justice Grant

07/07/2022: Olmsted Now Parks Equity & Spatial Justice Grants Highlight New Process to Meet Overwhelming Demand to Culturally Animate Boston Greenspace

05/03/2022: Olmsted Now Announces Park Equity and Spatial Justice Grant

03/24/2022: Olmsted Now Announces Kick-off Events for 2022 Bicentennial

01/20/2022: “Olmsted 200: Parks for All People” Unites 120+ Organizations to Advocate for American Parks and Open Space, Marking Bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Birth

12/15/2021: Olmsted Now Meets Milestones for 2022 Bicentennial

04/6/2021: Greater Boston to Mark the Bicentennial of Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted

For media inquiries, please contact Edwina A. Klünder

Recent Press

11/26/2022: Mishoon project ignites for the first time in 300 years | The Huntington News

11/18/2022: Radical Welcome: A Roundtable on Grantmaking as Care-Centered Work | Boston Art Review

11/15/2022: Local Indigenous tribes gather to build community and learn an ancient skill | WBUR News

11/03/2022: Indigenous tribes hold Boston’s first mishoon burning in more than 300 years | The Boston Globe

11/02/2022: Historic Canoe ‘Burning’ Underway Near Boston Harbor | Patch

10/14/2022: Jamaica Plain Celebrates Parkfest | Jamaica Plain Gazette

10/06/2022: 5 things to do this weekend, including a Life Magazine exhibit and an Indigenous Peoples Day film screening | WBUR News

10/02/2022: New garden opens at Emerald Necklace Parkfest | The Huntington News

09/30/2022: Crowds enjoy Boston’s Emerald Necklace in honor of Olmsted | Olmsted 200

09/30/2022: Photos: Lots of Fun at First Emerald Necklace Parkfest | Jamaica Plain News

09/22/2022: Free outdoor exhibition to showcase Southeast Asian stories of home, displacement | Dorchester Reporter

09/22/2022: 5 things to do this weekend, including the Boston Film Festival and the Emily Dickinson Museum’s poetry festival | WBUR News

09/19/2022: WBUR Presents: The Makers | WBUR News

09/19/2022: First Emerald Necklace Parkfest Spanning Parks on Sept. 24 | Jamaica Plain News

09/14/2022: A long-fought-for festival comes to Pope John Paul II Park | The Bay State Banner

09/08/2022: For Olmsted’s 200th birthday, a renewed effort to make parks in city welcoming to everyone | Dorchester Reporter

09/08/2022: Emerald Necklace Parkfest Set for Sept. 24 | The Boston Sun

09/08/2022: Parkfest is coming to the Emerald Necklace in Boston | Time Out Boston

09/07/2022: Olmsted Equity Grants open up Boston parks to all | The Bay State Banner

09/02/2022: For Olmsted’s 200th birthday, a renewed effort to make Boston’s parks welcoming to all | WBUR

09/01/2022: ‘Never Too Much, Always Enough’ Temporary Art Installation Marks Frederick Law Olmsted Bicentennial |

08/23/2022: The New Public Art Projects That Are Keeping Us Outdoors | Boston Art Review

07/05/2022: Reimagining Boston’s Charlesgate Park | WVCB 5 Chronicle

07/05/2022: Finding beauty in Olmsted projects, large and small | WVCB 5 Chronicle

07/05/2022: Visiting Olmsted’s studio in Brookline, Mass., and exploring the largest park in Boston’s Emerald Necklace | WVCB 5 Chronicle

07/05/2022: Celebrating the visionary behind Boston’s Emerald Necklace | WVCB 5 Chronicle

06/22/2022: Jen Mergel on Frederick Law Olmsted’s indelible legacy at Boston Design Week 2022 |

06/11/2022: At 200, Frederick Law Olmsted continues to shape public space | The Boston Globe

05/16/2022: Neighbors celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday | Jamaica Plain Gazette

05/12/2022: Parks and recreation: Olmsted’s bicentennial renews appreciation for his public spaces in Boston and beyond | GBH Open Studio with Jared Bowen

05/11/2022: Apply Now for Olmsted Now Parks Equity and Spatial Justice Grants | Jamaica Plain News

05/04/2022: Grants Aim to Fund Inclusive New Programs in Olmsted Parks | The Fenway News

04/29/2022: The Future of Public Parks | The New Yorker

04/27/2022: Frederick Law Olmsted – der Pionier der Stadtparks | Deutschlandfunk Kultur

04/27/2022: Olmsted’s 200th Birthday Remembered With Moss Installation At Jamaica Pond | WONDERLAND

04/26/2022: Let’s Toast Frederick Law Olmsted, the Man Behind the Emerald Necklace |

04/26/2022: In Photos: A walk through Frederick Law Olmsted’s Enduring Gift: America’s Public Parks | The New York Times

04/07/2022: Olmsted Now events bring communities together | Mission Hill Gazette

04/04/2022: Olmsted Now Kickoff Events for 2022 Bicentennial | Jamaica Plain Gazette

Brand Resources

Logo and Tagline

Download high-resolution versions of the OlmstedNow wordmark and tagline.


Download readymade templates for the OlmstedNow brand.


Download illustrations by Ben Jundanian and Duke Riley.

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