New England Landscape Futures, folding into Olmsted200

The formation of large scale municipal parks, a century ago, can inspires us today to respond to the climate crisis with a new, 21st century parks movement. As Frederick Law Olmsted was well aware, urban waterways are a convergence of dynamic ecosystem benefits, which offer essential nature-based solutions that if conserved will be an asset to future generations.

Hidden Gems: Revival of the Muddy River within the Emerald Necklace
presentation recorded April 1, 2021

Emerald Necklace Conservancy guest Karen Mauney-Brodek discusses daylighting the Muddy River; and Barbara A. Yaeger of the National Association of Olmsted Parks, who summarizes the celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s legacy.

The Muddy River segment offers valuable connectivity between parks within Boston’s Emerald Necklace. Aspirations of Hartford native, Frederick Law Olmsted, are being fulfilled by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, which hosts a spectrum of activities along the irregular path of the Muddy River. Revitalization of Boston’s Emerald Necklace is rooted in ambitious conservation goals of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Learn about the Olmsted200 national celebration!

Why now?
See for Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s summary of Olmsted’s currency: healing, unity, and empowerment.

Olmsted200 is an expansion of ideas that evolved through our work New England Landscape Futures project. Community appreciation of local nature is needed for spectrum of interests. Waterways in urban-suburban neighborhoods, whether “Hogs” or “Parks” or “Muddy” or a gem within the Emerald Necklace, are a vibrant convergence of water, woodlands, floodplains, and essential habitat and migration corridors for pollinators, migratory birds, and mammals as well as aquatic species, fish, frogs, and turtles.

The New England Landscape Futures project supports future-focused discussions with citizens and professionals who are interested in the relationship between environmental conservation and culture. New England Landscape Futures (“NELF“) supported a Park Watershed partnership with Trinity College, Ct River Conservancy and Sustainable CT to explore how urban-suburban riparian corridors offer vital ecosystem service benefits that deserve increased protections. Learn more about this research through the online map:
New England Landscape Futures Explorer

Strategic and comprehensive watershed planning is needed to protect and revitalize riparian corridors along the Lower Connecticut River. Sprawling 20th century planning often overlooked the impact of upstream development on downstream riparian zones. Now is the time to explore how woodland landscape fragments along inland riparian corridors offer aquatic arteries of ecosystem connectivity and community resilience. Contiguous forests, wetlands, and floodplains along waterways serve as essential wildlife and bird habitat and migratory pathways, and also provide valuable green infrastructure ecosystem services that benefit public health and mitigate damage from unpredictable precipitation.

For more information contact: MaryP (insert “at” symbol)
our project partners:
Ct River Conservancy, Lower River Steward, Kelsey Wentling
SustainableCT, Alyssa Norwood, Program Manager, Certification & Innovation  
Trinity College, Dr. Susan Masino, Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science