Neighbors celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday

A birthday celebration was held for landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted, creator of the Emerald Necklace parks, on April 27th at Jamaica Pond. Olmsted would have been 200 years old this year, but the celebration was held a day after his actual birthday due to rain. 

Many friends, supporters, neighbors, and park activists came out to the pond for the celebration, where local storyteller Diane Edgecomb and harpist Margot Chamberlain told stories and sang songs. Proclamations were read, including one by Mayor Michelle Wu (though she was unable to attend) declaring April 26 “Gerry Wright Day” in the city of Boston.

Gerry Wright has celebrated Frederick Law Olmsted each year in the City of Boston, writing and performing a one-man play about Olmsted. Wright has worked in human services and conservation for many years, and is the founder of the Friends of Jamaica Pond. Wright was the highlight of this event, with many people stopping to chat with him in his Olmsted costume. 

Olmsted 2022 honored both Patricia Kish, Chief of Design and Engineering for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Kent Jackson, Director of Education for the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, for their work in the parks. 

For more information about upcoming bicentennial events, visit olmstednow.org, the website for Greater Boston’s bicentennial celebration. 

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