Olmsted’s Legacy Lives on Despite Cancellation of Birthday Party

While a large gathering at English High School to celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted’s 198th birthday on April 26 was cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19, the venerable landscape architect continues to be remembered in other ways.

Olmsted 2022 Massachusetts, – a continuing project for conservation, public health and social justice that was formed in 2010 to lead up to its namesake’s 200th birthday in 2022 – honored the Olmsted Legacy last Sunday by honoring Betsy Shure Gross. Credited as a leading force in the creation of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, Gross went onto serve as one of its first co-chairs before Gerry Wright tapped her to help him launch Olmsted 2022. Gross served as co-chair for its first five years and continues on as an advisor for Olmsted 2022  Massachusetts, Wright wrote.

Olmsted 2022 Massachusetts, which has named Sarah Freeman, a public health research professional and a highly dedicated volunteer for parks, open spaces and a healthy environment, as co-chair, is currently participating in and supporting various projects, including the Franklin Park Master Plan and Shattuck Campus Planning, the Arborway Parkways Improvement Project, and the Back Bay Fens, while continuing to work together with the nonprofit Charlesgate Alliance, with support from the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, to develop plans and raise funds.

Moreover, Olmsted 2022 Massachusetts will share park experiences virtually and via social media, including a collection of images from every day of the year, as well as he Olmsted Birthday awards, which will be presented throughout the year at different programs across the Commonwealth in anticipation of a statewide conference  to be held in 2021, Wright said.

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