The Olmsteds' Conservation Legacy Conference


Fri Sep 09 2022 at 09:00 am to 01:30 pm


U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center | Washington, DC

A conference exploring the Olmsteds’ conservation legacy
About this Event

Frederick Law Olmsted and his son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., played a significant role in establishing and creating our country’s national parks. Through a lively array of panel discussions, this conference will explore the Olmsted conservation legacy and historic and current challenges to the public land ideal, including displacement, exclusion, public funding and climate change. The conference takes its cue from The Olmsteds and the National Park Service, a Historic Resource Study released by the NPS in 2020.

After lunch, participants will take tours of the U.S. Capitol Grounds.

This program is free. Capacity is limited, so please register soon!

The program begins at 9 am ET; budget extra time for security.

Program schedule (as of July 21, 2022):

9 am ET: Welcoming Remarks

Dede Petri, President & CEO of the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP). NAOP is the Managing Partner of the Olmsted 200 bicentennial celebration.

James Kaufmann, Architect of the Capitol. The Office of the Architect is the builder and steward of landmark buildings and grounds on Capitol Hill, including Capitol Square designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

9:10 am ET: Keynote

9:30 to 10:30 am ET: Session One: Olmsted Senior, the Conservation Movement and the National Parks Idea

Dennis Drabelle, Moderator

Drabelle is the author of No More Niagaras, covering Olmsted’s fight for the Niagara Reservation and the development of the national parks. He has written a number of other books including Mile-High Fever.

Rolf Diamant

Rolf Diamant is co-author of Olmsted and Yosemite, which explores Olmsted’s role in establishing conservation movement ideals in the United States. Rolf is a former superintendent of the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (FLOHS).

Jason Newman

Newman is the current superintendent of FLONHS. In 2020, FLONHS released The Olmsteds and the National Park Service.


10:45 to 12:00 pm ET: Session Two: Olmsted Junior, the Conservation Movement, and State and National Parks

Lauren Meier, Moderator

Meier was an editor of the papers of Frederick Law Olmsted. She is a landscape architect and president of the Friends of Fairsted. She will focus on the relationship of the Olmsted Firm to the development of the National Park Service and national forests.

Elizabeth Hope Cushing

Cushing is the author of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr: Beauty, Efficiency and Economy, which is the first full-length biography of Junior. Cushing is also the author of Refined Simplicity: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr’s Plan for the White House Grounds.

Sam Hodder

Hodder is the president & CEO of Save the Redwoods League. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. was a member of the Save the Redwoods League Council from 1926-1955.


12:00 to 1:15 pm ET: Session Three: The Conservation Movement Today: Race, Class, Public Use, and Environmental Protection

Alegra “Happy” Haynes, Moderator

Haynes is the executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation.

Philip Burnham

Burnham is the author of Indian Country, God’s Country: Native Americans and National Parks. He taught at the Rosebud Indian Reservation and George Mason University, and he holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico.

Shelton A. Johnson

Johnson is a park ranger and educator in Yosemite National Park. He is the author of Gloryland and worked as a consultant for Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

Priscilla Solis Ybarra

Ybarra is an English professor at the University of North Texas. She teaches Chicanx literature and environmental humanities and recently served as the Clements Senior Fellow at the SMU Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

Q & A

Concluding Remarks

Lunch in the CVC Cafe *not included

Tours of the U.S. Botanic Garden, Bartholdi Fountain and the U.S. Capitol Grounds

Questions? Please email us at [email protected]!


Where is it happening?

U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center, First Street NE Washington, DC, Washington, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


USD 0.00

Olmsted 200

Host or Publisher Olmsted 200

It's more fun with friends. Share with friends