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Karen Mauney-Brodek, The Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, May 1, 2022

The Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted
Karen Mauney-Brodek

Sunday, May 1, 2022, 2:00 p.m.
Community Room, Needham Free Public Library
1139 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02494

Free and open to the public
Sponsored by the Friends of the Needham Public Library

This will be an in-person event in the Library's Community Room.

April marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, America's most influential landscape architect and a visionary maker of parks and public places. In honor of his work to create public spaces that brought beautiful and healthy environments to people of all classes, the Friends of the Needham Public Library will host a lecture on Olmsted's legacy by Karen Mauney-Bodek, president of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, on Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. at the Needham Free Public Library.

Olmsted was more than a designer of parks. His pioneering landscape architecture work reflected his philosophies on community connection, public health and conservation. His parks, he believed, acted as the "lungs of the city," where people could escape the bustle of metropolitan life and be healed spiritually and physically through connection to the natural world. They were designed as places for community empowerment, where people could "come together," as he said, "and be seen coming together." His work on Boston's Emerald Necklace also served as the nation's first example of green infrastructure, fulfilling environmental needs such as flood control and water management for a growing post-Industrial Boston. Much has changed in the centuries since Olmsted's birth. Yet the ideas central to Olmsted's work are still relevant today: from encouraging social exchange to building healthy environments.

As President of Boston's Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Karen Mauney-Brodek is working to restore and improve the Emerald Necklace's 1,100 acres for all. For 2022 she initiated planning with Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site and more than 100 local and national partners to spearhead Olmsted Now: Greater Boston's Olmsted Bicentennial, a season of collaboratively-generated offerings from April through October focused on parks as a platform for more equitable, vibrant and verdant neighborhoods.

The program is free and open to the public. However, space is limited to the room's capacity (approximately 80 guests), and registration is required. Please register here.


For general information about programs sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the schedule of future programs, click here.