Letter from FMOPL President

Dear FMOPL Members,

In the report submitted with his Greensward Plan to the Board of the Commissioners of Central Park in 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. noted that: 

It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God’s handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.

Flash forward 162 years, and the numbers of people from all walks of life finding solace in parks in the middle of a pandemic might stun even Olmsted. Google mobility data show, for example, that, in the U.S., park visits have increased by more than 50% since February 2020.  It is a stunning trend, especially when compared to other mobility data shown in the diagram below and the fact that park budgets around the country are being slashed as tax revenues are in freefall. (View if for yourself at:  https://ourworldindata.org/covid-mobility-trends).  

The data also underscore the importance of efforts by groups like the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks and Landscapes (FMOPL) to perpetuate the Olmsted legacy. It is my purpose in writing to you today to invite you to our virtual Annual Meeting on October 29 from 7:00- 8:00 pm to hear what the organization has been doing to deliver on that mission this year, including:

  • Highlights from a new strategic plan developed in partnership with the Institute for Conservation Leadership, including:
    • Expanding our focus beyond perpetuating the Olmsted principles to making an inventory of how the various Olmsted sites are faring in Maryland;
    • Strengthening partnerships; and
    • Formulating a strategy to move existing content online to facilitate life-long learning.
  • Electing several talented new board members; and
  • Partnering with the National Association of Olmsted Parks (NAOP). Our guest speaker will be Anne “Dede” Neal Petri, President and CEO of NAOP, who will address the plans underway for the FLO Bicentennial celebration in 2022 and take your questions.

You may register for the meeting online at: https://tinyurl.com/fmopl2020. The instructions for joining the meeting will follow to registrants by email.

With great appreciation for your ongoing interest in and support of our work, I am

Sincerely yours,

Barbara L. Hopkins, Esq., ASLA, 

President

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