NAOP Advisory Council Member Larry McCann's book on John Olmsted published

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Brighton Press has just released NAOP Advisory Council member, Larry McCann's new book, Imagining Uplands

Brighton Press:

Imagining Uplands recounts the efforts of the American landscape architect John Charles Olmsted to create an ideal and enduring subdivision on the suburban frontier of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Laid out at the height of the early-20th century real estate boom, Uplands was the first large-scale Canadian subdivision to break away entirely from the rigid geometry of the rectangular grid. Fashioned in the naturalistic or modern style, Uplands is marked by artistry and practicality. For John Olmsted personally, of all his subdivision projects, Uplands was “unquestionably the best adapted to obtain the greatest amount of landscape beauty in connection with suburban development.”

Imagining Uplands tells also of John Olmsted’s upbringing and training, and about other projects he initiated in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest before World War I. Key chapters focus on his productive working relationship with the developer William Gardner of Winnipeg from 1907–1911 to make Uplands a masterpiece of residential design. Among major themes woven into the narrative are the land dealings of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the corporate take-over of Gardner’s interests by the Paris-based Franco-Canadian Company, the chance making of Uplands Park, and the influence of Uplands on the shaping of Oak Bay’s middle-class identity, municipal politics, and zoning, planning, and heritage policies.

Specially commissioned artwork, as well as over 150 historical and contemporary maps and photographs, are integrated closely with the text. These images capture the intrinsic beauty of the Garry oak landscape, the artistry of John Olmsted’s design, and the domestic architecture of “Victoria’s Celebrated Residential Park.”

For more information, visit  the Brighton Press website.

NAOP Elects New Board Members at 2016 Annual Meeting


At the annual NAOP  meeting held July 10, 2016 in Boston, MA , Board members elected two new Trustees: Addy Reiman-Smith (Portland, ME)  and Dan Marriott (Washington, DC).  The Board also elected Lucy Lawliss (Bradenton, FL) and Patrice Kish (Boston, MA) as  Co-Chairs. Biographies for the new Trustees  can be found on our web site here.

The NAOP also appointed  Elsey Hamilton (St. Louis, MO) to the NAOP Advisory Council.  Mr. Hamilton previously served on the NAOP Board. The NAOP Advisory Committee is comprised of Olmsted scholars and leaders in landscape architecture and related disciplines, and will assist the NAOP and the Board of Trustees as they pursue their mission.

Board members led by Margaret Dyson, Director of Historic Parks, Boston Parks and Recreation, toured the Muddy River restoration project, a complex storm water management project to add capacity to the waterways in Boston.  Here is a description of the project




Photo courtesy of Board Member Daniel Chartier

NAOP Honors Marion Pressley with the 2016 Olmsted Stewardship Award

Boston, Massachusetts: On June 10, 2016, the Board of Trustees of the National Association for Olmsted Parks proudly presented the 2016 Olmsted Stewardship Award to landscape architect, and Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Marion Pressley. The Olmsted Stewardship Award recognizes an individual for their outstanding stewardship of the living legacy of landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and by his sons, his associates, and his successor firms. The individuals nominated for the Olmsted Stewardship Award have shown a sustained commitment and a record of accomplishment in researching, managing, preserving, and interpreting Olmsted landscapes for future generations. For more than 30 years, Marion Pressley has worked to restore and preserve Boston and Brookline’s Emerald Necklace park system, designed by Olmsted, his sons, and his associates, beginning in 1878. The Boston-Brookline Emerald Necklace is the most significant park system designed by the Olmsted firms, and retains substantial integrity. Stretching almost seven miles from Charlesgate to Franklin Park, the Emerald Necklace was also the first urban greenway of its type. The Emerald Necklace park system is unique in the United States and in the world, although its influence as a precedent continues to shape landscape architecture and landscape urbanism today. Pressley has been researching, creating management and restoration plans, and acting as an advocate for Olmsted’s Boston and Brookline parks for decades. Her work and influence has been essential to retaining this great heritage, perhaps most notably as the principal author of the 2001 Master Plan, and to guiding restoration efforts today. As Co-Chair Ethan Carr noted: “Without stewards like Marion Pressley, the legacy of Olmsted parks—always subject to pressures, threats, and encroachments—could not survive. The National Association for Olmsted Parks is honored to present its 2016 Olmsted Stewardship Award to Marion Pressley.”

2016 NAOP Olmsted Legacy Award given to Mimi Batchelder-Brown

Boston, Massachusetts:   On June 10, 2016, the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) honored Mimi Batchelder-Brown with the 2016 Olmsted Legacy Award. This award recognizes excellence in preserving and promoting the living legacy of landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and by his sons, his associates, and his successor firms. The award recognizes individuals, organizations, agencies, or programs for leadership, vision, and stewardship of specific landscapes. The award was given in recognition of the efforts made by Ms. Batchelder-Brown and her late husband, George Batchelder, to restore and permanently protect Moraine Farm in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Designed in 1880 by Olmsted for the Boston merchant, John C. Phillips, Moraine Farm overlooks Lake Wenham, one of the "great ponds" of Massachusetts. Today Moraine Farm is one of the most significant remaining residential landscapes designed by Olmsted that survives with integrity. It is also the first of several important collaborations between Olmsted and the architects Peabody & Stearns.

IMGP3737 MLMimi Batchelder-Brown accepting the 2016 Olmsted Legacy Award

In 2010, after 40 years of stewardship and protection of Moraine Farm, the Batchelder family made a gift of land to the Trustees of Reservations and were named that organization's 2011 Conservationists of the Year. Today Moraine Farm extends over 180 acres of farmland, forest, and meadows, and is managed and protected today through an innovative partnership among the Trustees of Reservations, the Essex County Greenbelt Association, the Cape Ann Waldorf School, Project Adventure, and the Batchelder Family Trust.

NAOP trustee Arleyn Levee presented the award to Ms. Batchelder-Brown during a NAOP reception on Friday, June 10, Wheelock College, Boston, MA. The reception was co-hosted by the Friends of Fairsted and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.


Photo courtesy of Board Member Daniel Chartier

2015 Annual Report Now Available

The Year in Review/Annual Report  is available now! Simply click on the link below!

Annual Report FY15

And as always, our 990 forms are available to the public HERE

Field Notes Archives Online

The  complete archive of NAOP's newsletter, Field Notes, is now available online. Follow the dropdown menu to Publications and then Field Notes archives to view  PDF versions of all  the  NAOP newsletters.  The PDFs are downloadable. 

For high quality PDFs please email


 As of January 1, 2016, the NAOP address will be: 

1200 18th Street NW,  Suite 330
Washington DC,  20036

Our telephone and fax numbers will not change.



NAOP Letter of Support to Madame Hélène David, Députée d'Outremont et Ministre de la Culture et des Communications

The National Association for Olmsted Parks wrote a letter of support for the Les Amis de La Montagne regarding the redevelopment of Rutherford Park, in Montreal. We believe that Les Amis has clearly, conscientiously, and comprehensively set forth a compelling argument for adhering to a vision that respects Montreal's extraordinary Mount Royal Park. As stated by Dr. Charles Beveridge, editor of The Olmsted Papers, in Mount Royal in the Works of Frederick Law Olmsted, Entente Sur Le Developpement Culturel de Montreal in collaboration with Montreal landscape architects Daniel Chartier (a NAOP Board members) and Wendy Graham and Le Bureau du Mont Royal, "Mount Royal is one of seven urban parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted that constitute his major contribution to that form of landscape and social institution." With each of these great park designs, Olmsted took his inspiration from "the genius of the place." Again, Dr. Beveridge: "For Olmsted, the great treasure of Mount Royal was the scenery it possessed in the vistas it provided and the landscape experience it could provide with judicious and imaginative management of its vegetation."

Here is link to local coverage of the issues.

Click here to download a PDF of the letter of support. pdf_icon4

The National Association for Olmsted Parks Elects New Board Trustees and Advisory Council Members

The National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) is the only national organization dedicated to the stewardship of the Olmsted firm's legacy of historic landscapes. The NAOP is a coalition of design and preservation professionals, historic property and park managers, scholars, municipal officials, citizen activists, and representatives of numerous local Olmsted organizations around the United States and Canada. The organization raises awareness of the Olmsted legacy with the public, elected officials, landscape architects, and academic researchers.

In July 2015, the NAOP elected six new Trustees: Lane Addonzio, (New York City, NY), Katie Eggers Comeau (Rochester, NY) Daniel Chartier (Montreal, CAN) Frank Kowsky (Buffalo, NY), Lucy Lawliss (Bradenton, FL) and Christy O'Hara ( San Luis Obispo, CA). Biographies for our new Trustees can be found on our web site here.

The NAOP also appointed the following to the NAOP Advisory Council: Elinor Ames (Portland, ME), Julie Crockford (Boston, MA), Rolf Diamant (Woodstock, VT), Robert Doyle (Oakland ,CA), Erin Gallentine (Brookline, MA) , Kathleen Galop (Summit, NJ) , Betsy Shure Gross (Brookline, MA), Philip Loughlin (Cambridge, MA) , Rosemarie Murane (Denver, CO)and Ed Orser Baltimore, MD). The NAOP Advisory Committee is comprised of Olmsted scholars and leaders in landscape architecture and related disciplines, and will assist the NAOP and the Board of Trustees as they pursue their mission.

Please join us in welcoming our new Trustees and members of the Advisory Council.

Memorial Park Association, Jacksonville, Florida

By Alida Silverman, NAOP Board Member

The Memorial Park Associationi was founded in 1986 to protect and preserve Memorial Park on the St. John's River in Jacksonville Florida. This park was developed on land set aide in 1919 to commemorate the 1200 Floridians who lost their lives in World War I. It was designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm under the supervision of James Frederick Dawson, beginning in 1922. Initially contacted by Mrs. Arthur G. Cummer, representing the Jacksonville Citizens Memorial Committee, the firm shaped this riverfront area into a simple but richly planted park space, highlighted by a large bronze allegorical sculpture by nationally recognized local artist Charles Adrian Pillars. The park was dedicated in 1924. The Olmsted firm would continue to work with the Cummer family on several other projects, one of which was for the grounds of their private residence, now the Cummer Museum.

In the 60 years following its creation, Memorial Park suffered from decline and disrepair. The Memorial Park Association was formed in 1986 spurred on by Anne Wright Freeman (see note below) and other volunteers, to assure the park's continued viability. A recent major achievement of the Association is a master plan to provide the framework for needed future improvements. Adopted by the board in 2013, the master plan contains the history of the park, the Olmsted plans with an analysis of the design intent represented by those plans, as well as a set of recommendations. The first phase of implementation focuses on conservation of the iconic Pillars' sculpture "Life;" the on the restoration of a non-functioning fountain, and on drainage and irrigation improvements in the park. The cost of these initial improvements is $400,000.00.

Memorial Park is one of 400 parks in Jacksonville, a city the size of Rhode Island, but the only one with associations to the Olmsted firm. The Memorial Park Association has been energetic in their advocacy and outreach activities to the park's neighbors and local businesses, promoting the importance of the park's Olmsted design heritage. To emphasize its national significance, the Association is seeking a separate National Register designation for the park, now currently listed as a contributing element in a Historic District.

A capital campaign for full implementation of the Master Plan is planned for the near future. Visit for more information about Memorial Park, the Association and their master plan.

i Note: In 1987, shortly after forming the Memorial Park Association, Anne Wright Freeman contacted the NAOP office, asking for information and including a membership donation. Several other letters from her were found among the NAOP files. Having played in Memorial Park as a child, Mrs. Freeman was dismayed by its decline and became one of its champions, insisting on respect for the 1922 Olmsted plan. She was a strong force for preservation until her death earlier this year at age 95.

Click here to download a PDF of this article. pdf_icon4