View of the Anacostia River at the 11th Street Bridge, Navy Yard and Anacostia neighborhood. 1960.

Explore Environmental History Lecture Series

Explore Environmental History Lecture Series, Spring 2014

The success of last fall’s Explore Environmental History series inspired us to bring you a new series this spring! Baltimore City Historical Society, Friends of Maryland Olmsted Parks & Landscapes and Creation Care at the Cathedral are sponsoring this FREE series. All three lectures will be held in the Peabody Room, Cathedral of the Incarnation, at 4 E. University Pkwy Baltimore MD 21218

Free admission, parking and refreshments. Directions: www.incarnationbaltimore.org

Saturday, March 22, 2014, 1pm – 3pm
Reclaiming the Edge: Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement with Gail Sylvia Lowe and John R. Wennersten.

Gail Sylvia Lowe is Anacostia Community Museum historian. She is a specialist on African American religious and spiritual traditions. She co-authored  “A Different Drummer: John Kinard and the Anacostia Museum 1967-1989.” She co-curated the museum’s “Reclaiming the Edge: Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement” exhibit on the history, public use, and attitudes toward the Anacostia River and its watershed, exploring issues regarding human interaction with natural resources in an urban setting. It looked at densely populated watersheds and at rivers as barriers to racial and ethnic integration and examined civic attempts to recover, clean up, re-imagine, or engineer urban rivers for community access and use.

John R. Wennersten is professor emeritus at the University of Maryland and was a senior fellow in Environmental History at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. His works include the “Oyster Wars of Chesapeake Bay” which won the Maryland Writers Prize in nonfiction, “The Chesapeake: An Environmental Biography” and “Anacostia: The Death and Life of An American River.”  His newest book is “Global Thirst: Water and Society in the 21st Century.”

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1pm – 3pm
Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the 20th Century World with John McNeill

John McNeill, past president of American Society for Environmental History, is a Georgetown University professor of world history, environmental history, and international history. He is the author of “Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914”, “The Human Web: A Bird’s-eye View of World History” and “Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the 20th-Century World.”

Saturday, June 7,  2014, 1pm – 3pm
Public Health Challenges: Urban Pest Control and Inner-City Highway Construction with Dawn Biehler and Robert Gioielli

Dawn Biehler is an Assistant Professor at UMBC in the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems where she has taught Geographies of Health and Disease; Environmental Justice; Gender and Environment and Environmental Politics. She has recently published “Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats” which explores the public health implications of domestic pests and pest control in US cities since 1900. The book tells stories about scientists, health and housing officials, and citizens who struggled to manage nature and support healthy neighborhood environments.

Robert Gioielli is an assistant professor of history at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, where he teaches American and environmental history. His book “Environmental Activism and the Urban Crisis: Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago” will be published in May by Temple University Press in the Urban Life, Landscape and Policy series. This work explores how urban residents responded to the environmental problems caused by the destruction of America’s older industrial cities in the decades after World War Two. For Baltimore he shows how opposition to the city’s planned highway system in the 1960s and 1970s was a form of environmental activism.

Attend the Open Space Forum on March 6, 7 pm

Forum on Environmental Justice in Baltimore – March 6th, 7 pm

Join us for an enlightening evening on March 6 at FMOPL’s 3rd Open Space Forum! Climate change and environmental justice are two issues that are shaping our city today, and have significant consequences. How do we create a city that is more habitable, healthy, and equitable – in other words, more “humane”? How do we strive for environmental justice for all citizens, particularly in the face of climate change? Our three esteemed speakers, who are experts and innovators in these subjects, will present on the challenges and opportunities of these issues, followed by an open discussion with the audience. We hope you can delve into this important conversation with us.

Open Space Forum III announcement March 6, 2014
The event will be held at Mason Hall (Visitor Center) at 3101 Wyman Park Drive at Johns Hopkins University.
Parking is available for $8 in the adjacent garage, or there is limited street parking.

Ed Orser leading a tour of the Gwynns Falls Trail for students in the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey course on the Olmsted Legacy in Baltimore, offered by FMOPL this year.

Advancing the Olmsted Legacy— Parks and Open Spaces for a New Century

Advancing the Olmsted Legacy—
Parks and Open Spaces for a New Century


America's first bike path, designed by Olmsted in 1894. (Credit: http://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/bicycling)

America’s first bike path, designed by Olmsted in 1894. (Credit: City of New York Parks and Recreation http://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/bicycling)

The Olmsteds, designing for bikes since 1894? Sure enough, Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn claims that the bike lanes pictured in an 1894 photo were based on an earlier Olmsted recommendation for multiple use pathways— yet one more reminder of the continuing relevance of the Olmsted visionary principles.

The Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes is committed to advancing that legacy of accessible public parks, sustainable landscapes and livable communities— respecting and protecting the accomplishments of the past and seeking relevant solutions for the challenges of today.

In Baltimore and Maryland, we build upon a heritage of over 70 years of distinctive contributions by the Olmsteds as we apply principles derived from their work to such current issues as park underfunding, watershed protection, nature preservation, recreational opportunities and environmental justice.
During the past year contributions to FMOPL from members like you helped to:

Ed Orser leading a tour of the Gwynns Falls Trail for students in the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey course on the Olmsted Legacy in Baltimore, offered by FMOPL this year.

Ed Orser leading a tour of the Gwynns Falls Trail for students in the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey course on the Olmsted Legacy in Baltimore, offered by FMOPL this year.

► Fund scholarships for two graduate students in landscape architecture to attend the National Association for Olmsted Parks Fall Symposium on Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in Washington D.C.
► Co-sponsor a distinctive new lecture series on Environmental History

► Offer 6 tours of Olmsted-related parks & residential developments, including Guilford on its 100th Anniversary
► Present the second in a series of forums on Open Space challenges and opportunities
► Relocate the Olmsted Collection to a new permanent home in the Baltimore City Archives
► Organize an Olmsted-themed bike cohort for Tour Dem Parks.

Look for initiatives like these in the coming year, and join us in building momentum for a vision of a sustainable future in which parks and open spaces play a central role.

Adam Rome presented to a packed room at the final Exploring Environmental History series, co-sponsored by FMOPL.

Adam Rome presented to a packed room at the final lecture in the Exploring Environmental History series on Dec. 7, co-sponsored by FMOPL.

If you have not yet renewed your membership for the current calendar year or want to become a member for the first time, this is the season to do so. You have the option to pay on-line through the FMOPL web site. Go to: www.olmstedmaryland.org/support/ and follow the instructions.

Thank you in advance for your support.
Ed Orser, President
Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes

East Square: Mount Vernon Square

Explore Environmental History: The Nature of the Metropolis

Adam Rome, author of “The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism”

Join us on Saturday, December 7, 2013, 1-3 pm for our final lecture of the 2013 Exploring Environmental History lecture series. Dr. Adam Rome will speak about “The Nature of the Metropolis” – the many ways that nature has shaped the lives of city dwellers in the last 200 years, and how our relationship with the natural world has changed throughout the past and present. This is an important topic, and we hope will prompt a lively, thoughtful discussion!

Dr. Rome is the author of the prize-winning “The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism”, has edited the journal Environmental History, and earlier this year published “The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation”. He has a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in American Environmental History. He is the Unidel Helen Gouldner Chair for the Environment and Associate Professor of History and English at the University of Delaware. See www.udel.edu/History/bio/rome_adam.html

Saturday December 7, 2013 , 1 pm – 3 pm
Peabody Room, Cathedral of the Incarnation
4 E. University Parkway, Baltimore MD 21218

Admission, parking and refreshments are free.  For directions, visit www.incarnationbaltimore.org

Exploring Environmental History series sponsored by the Baltimore City Historical Society, Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks and Landscapes, and Cathedral of the Incarnation Creation Care.

A typical pathway from 'A book of pictures in Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland' 1911

Fall 2013 Walking Tours

October 6, 2013, 2-4 pm  Walking (and Talking) the Paths of Roland Park
Offered in collaboration with the Kaleidoscope Program, Roland Park Country School. Registration is through Kaleidoscope here.

Led by Judy Dobbs and Kathy Hudson

A typical pathway from 'A book of pictures in Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland' 1911

A typical pathway from ‘A book of pictures in Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland’ 1911

This is a repeat of one of our most popular seasonal adventures! Join with friends to discover and explore a unique feature of the Roland Park community. In developing this community in the late 1800s, the Roland Park Company incorporated into its plan a series of footpaths, 18 in all, designed to expedite foot traffic between various sections of the neighborhood, especially in those where the terrain made it difficult to build roads. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., son of the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., in collaboration with Edward H. Bouton, general manager of the Roland Park Company, the paths were part of a hierarchical system of roads in front of houses, service lanes in the rear, and footpaths that provided convenient ways to cross through the neighborhood in a natural setting. Each path is named with a distinctly country ring: Squirrel, Hilltop, Laurel, Tulip; others are decidedly British: Audley End, Tintern, St. Margaret’s, Litchfield. In 1991, the paths were refurbished and most are marked by cedar posts and handmade white oak replicas of the original breadboard signs.

October 13, 2013, 1-3 pm Guilford: The Golden Age of American Residential Development and Design
Offered in collaboration with the Kaleidoscope Program, Roland Park Country School. Registration is through Kaleidoscope here.
Led by Ann Giroux and David Gleason
Celebrate the Centennial of the Guilford Community by exploring this distinctive Baltimore neighborhood with a rich history, stunning architecture, and sensitive site planning. The 210 acres of land that are now Guilford were developed in the early 20th Century by the Roland Park Company, with the layout of the community designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and the renowned Olmsted Brothers firm. Within the development, the Olmsteds planned a series of roads that led circulation throughout the neighborhood in a hierarchy of boulevards, streets, lanes, circles and squares. A variety of lot sites and building types offered many options for home dwellers and a series of open spaces, parks and squares provide unique areas seldom seen in suburban land development. Complementing the innovative site design are a collection of distinctive and architecturally significant single family, semi-detached and row house dwellings that were designed by the leading architects of the day such as John Russell Pope, Laurence Hall Fowler and Palmer & Lamdin. The Olmsted vision made Guilford a model of development, one that still offers ideals that are as current today as they were one hundred years ago. The walking tour will explore Guilford’s Olmsted plan, diverse architectural treasures and the neighborhood’s signature Sherwood Gardens, one of the most famous tulip gardens in North America.
Balto City and County land cover study areas

Explore Environmental History lecture series continues this fall!

Organized in partnership by the Baltimore City Historical Society, Friends of Maryland Olmsted Parks and Landscapes & Cathedral of the Incarnation’s Creation Care.

McKay Jenkins: “What’s Gotten Into Us: Toxic Chemicals and Their Impact on Our Health and the Environment”

Saturday November 2, 2013, 1pm to 3pm
Peabody Room, Cathedral of the Incarnation
4 E. University Parkway, Baltimore MD 21218

McKay Jenkins is the author of “What’s Gotten into Us? Staying Healthy in a Toxic World” and editor of “The Peter Mattiessen Reader”, an anthology of American nature writing. He is the Cornelius Tighman Professor of English, Journalism and Environmental Humanities at the University of Delaware. He has a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in English from Amherst College. His recent essay “The Era of Suburban Sprawl has to End. So, Now What” can be found on his website.

Adam Rome: “The Nature of the Metropolis”

Saturday December 7, 2013, 1pm to 3pm
Peabody Room, Cathedral of the Incarnation
4 E. University Parkway, Baltimore MD 21218

Adam Rome is the author of the recently published “The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation” and the prizewinning “The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism”. He also is past editor of the journal “Environmental History”. He has a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in American Environmental History. He teaches history and environmental non-fiction at the University of Delaware. Learn more about Adam Rome at his website.

Free admission, parking and refreshments, directions: www.incarnationbaltimore.org

Contact: Joe Stewart joestewart31947@comcast.net

Visit www.historicbaltimore.org

Baltimore City Historical Society stamps War of 1812 Bicentennial Passports
Excerpts from Geoffrey Buckley,” The Baltimore Ecosystem Study: Reflecting on 15 Years of Historical Research” will be posted at www.olmstedmaryland.org. His book “America’s Conservation Impulse, A Century of Saving Trees in the Old Line State” can be ordered here.

Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., (1870-1957), who led planning efforts by the Olmsted firm on Maryland projects for more than four decades.

Take a short course on the Olmsted Legacy in Baltimore

Join FMOPL in the classroom and in the field in September 2013! Dr. Ed Orser, Lauren Schiszik, and several expert guest speakers will explore the rich Olmsted legacy in Baltimore in a short non-credit course offered through Johns Hopkins University’s Odyssey program. We’ll have two classroom sessions and two field sessions – you may opt to do both, or just the classroom portion. The course is limited to 16, so reserve your spot! Check out the program blurb below to learn more. We hope you’ll join us.

The Olmsteds and Baltimore’s Landscape Heritage
Lectures and Field Studies

Renowned for his work on NYC’s Central Park and Prospect Park, Frederick Law Olmsted, Senior, in tandem with his sons, had a decisive impact on the shape and character of Baltimore’s landscapes, helping to establish the park designs and residential patterns, which mark the area’s topography to this day. This course explores the accomplishments and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted, Senior, who worked on several Baltimore-area projects, and the even more extensive involvement of his son, Frederick Law Olmsted, Junior, from the 1904 and 1926 comprehensive plans for Baltimore parks to specific designs for such parks as Carroll, Clifton, Druid Hill, and Latrobe, and for portions of Roland Park, Guilford, Homeland, Original Northwood, and Dundalk.

Ed Orser, Ph.D., Professor emeritus of American Studies at UMBC, is the author of books on the social and environmental history of Baltimore, including The Gwynns Falls: Baltimore Gateway to the Chesapeake Bay. He currently serves as the President of the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes (FMOPL).

910.692.01
$62 (lectures only, 4 hours) 2 sessions, Homewood Campus
910.692.02
$155 (lectures and field trips, 10 hours) 4 sessions, Homewood and Field Studies

Lectures: Tues., Sept. 17 and 24, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Field studies: Sat., Sept. 28, 12:30–3:30 p.m. Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park. Meeting at Crimea area, for walk along park trails; Sat., Oct. 5, 12:30–3:30 p.m. Driving/walking tours of Homeland, Roland Park and Guilford.

Learn more about the Odyssey program here.

Register for the course here.

National Mall (Credit: Commission of Fine Arts)

Washington, D.C. Symposium to Explore Lasting Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

As a member of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, FMOPL is pleased to share information about this upcoming symposium in Washington, D.C. on October 10-11, 2013.

For more than half a century, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. (1870–1957) was one of America’s preeminent landscape architects who pioneered comprehensive planning and played a critical role in forming the nation’s county, state, and national parks. With a legacy that is frequently overshadowed by his influential father, Frederick Law Olmsted, the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) and its partners are proud to present a two-­part symposium to focus on the contributions and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and raise the visibility of his contemporary relevance. This symposium is of particular interest to FMOPL, as Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. was instrumental in urban planning in Baltimore City in the early-to-mid 20th century, was responsible for the development of the city’s park system and also designed several significant communities.

The trends and issues that are driving debate across the industry today (i.e., urban growth, provision of public space, transportation, protection of land, water and scenic resources, and comprehensive regional planning) were also important issues that Olmsted Jr. addressed through his work with and leadership of the planning and design professions he helped found and nurture. The symposia will bring together thought leaders, historians, public agency representatives and professionals in city, regional and environmental planning, landscape architecture and design. Participants will explore how Olmsted Jr.’s designs, writings, organizational leadership, and visionary and politically shrewd collaborations offer insights and models for solving complex contemporary issues.

Registration is now open for Part I, to be held in Washington, D.C. Oct. 10-­11, 2013; visit http://www.olmsted.org /symposia for more information. We hope that you will join NAOP and members of FMOPL at this symposium.

Part II, A Vision for the American West, will take place  in March 2014 at Stanford University.

National Mall (Credit: Commission of Fine Arts)