A Proclamation for Frederick Law Olmsted Bicentennial Celebration, April 26, 2022
Olmsted Parks Grow Locally and Celebrate Nationally
LOUISVILLE, KY – April 25, 2022 – This week, Olmsted Parks Conservancy celebrates the life and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, a famed 19th-century author, public servant, urban planner, and founder of American landscape architecture. Frederick Law Olmsted believed that thoughtful design and planning of parks and public spaces have powerful social, environmental, economic and health impacts on people and communities. Thousands of parks and landscape projects designed and inspired by Olmsted and the Olmsted firm can still be enjoyed today, from New York’s Central Park to the parks and parkways right here in Louisville, Kentucky.
Olmsted’s greatest achievement was his concept of creating a system of parks connected to tree-lined parkways, instead of freestanding parks as was the common practice of his day. His concept was most fully realized in Louisville, the ultimate and last park system of his career, and one of only four such Olmsted systems in the world.
“Fredrick Law Olmsted not only desired to build great parks, but he also wanted to create connectivity,” said Mayor Fischer. “Olmsted’s legacy is our system of parks and parkways that connects every part of the city with nature and with other people. The intentionality of that civic forethought of more than a century ago is repeated, carries forward for more years for more enjoyment for more Louisvillians, and our future generation."
“Olmsted’s democratic vision and values are more important today than ever,” said Anne Neal Petri, president and CEO of National Association for Olmsted Parks, the national organization focused on raising awareness of Olmsted and his firm. “In good times and times of national crisis, public parks and places give people from all walks of life a place to connect and to experience the restorative power of nature.”
The Olmsted 200 celebration will include a variety of national and local activities and events aimed at building public and policy support for America’s natural and historic spaces. The bicentennial theme is “Parks for All People.”
Below is a list of activities and events hosted by Olmsted Parks Conservancy:
• April 26: Ice Cream Social with Graeter’s Ice Cream at Baringer Hill from 2 pm to 6 pm
• April 26: Circles of Leadership exclusive member event sponsored by Korbel California Champagne and the Stegner family.
• April 28: Wooden Nickel Happy Hour Night at West Sixth NULU from 5 pm to 8 pm
• April 30 & May 8 (Cherokee Park), June 4 (Iroquois Park) & September 17 (Shawnee Park): Member Interpretive Hikes
• May 21 (Shelby Park) & September 10 (Algonquin Park): OPC Kids’ Free Play presented by Schneider Electric
• May 12-14: Glenview Garden Club exclusive member event sponsored by Dentons and Nugent Sand Company
• June 4 (Boone Square Park), June 18 (Algonquin Park), July 9 (Seneca & Shelby Parks), July 16 (Iroquois & Chickasaw Parks): Ballet Bound Series, partnership with the Louisville Ballet
• June 11 (Tyler Park), June 18 (Algonquin Park), July 9 (Shelby Park) & August 13 (Bingham Park): Summer Series sponsored by Dean Dorton
• October 6: Laurence Cotton film screening presented in partnership with the Filson Historical Society
• October 7 (Tyler Park), October 14 (Seneca Park) & October 21 (Shelby Park): West Sixth Beer Gardens sponsored by Kentucky Select Properties & Motown Group
• October 29 (Shawnee Park) & October 30 (Cherokee Park): Hayride on the Hill sponsored by Heaven Hill, Heine Brothers’ Coffee & Rainbow Blossom
“Louisville is incredibly fortunate to have one of only 4 park systems designed by Frederick Law Olmsted,” said Layla George, President and CEO of Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “For 45 years, our city invested in building our Olmsted Park system by buying land, building roadways and bridges in our parks, planting thousands of trees, and installing amenities such as playgrounds and tennis courts. This was a monumental undertaking and indicative of the value community leaders placed on these parks. Today, we all benefit from their vision and determination. May future generations say the same about us.”
About Olmsted Parks Conservancy
Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Inc., a non-profit organization, was established in 1989 to restore, enhance and forever protect Louisville’s historic 17 Olmsted Parks and 6 Parkways. Working as a non-profit partner with Louisville Parks and Recreation, the Conservancy provides planning and funding for park improvements and natural areas management through donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. In 2019, Olmsted Parks Conservancy celebrated our 30th
year connecting nature and neighborhood and overseeing $40 million in investment in our Olmsted Parks. olmstedparks.org
About Olmsted 200
Olmsted 200 is managed by the National Association for Olmsted Parks, along with founding partners the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Garden Club of America, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, City Parks Alliance, National Recreation and Park Association, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, American Public Health Association and the Landscape Architecture Foundation.