Dear Friends,
I am pleased to present the FY2020 Annual Report and list of supporters. We are grateful to all who have contributed to the Friends so we can support Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.

It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been a challenge for each and every one of us. Our spring lecture by Elizabeth Hope Cushing, “A Place of His Own: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.: His Life and Work in Landscape Architecture and Planning,” was postponed, but the Friends still hope to bring that exciting work to you in another format.

Despite the challenges the pandemic has given us, we cannot deny Olmsted’s visionary commitment to the healing powers of natural scenery expressed through parks, reservations and park systems. We have Olmsted & Vaux, John Charles and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., as well as the later firm and all its principals and practitioners to thank for an amazing legacy of national, state, regional and local parks and designed landscapes throughout the nation. The majority of that work was created at Fairsted.

olmsted-200-inset As we look forward to 2021, we have an exciting year ahead focused on public programs, grants, research fellowship, and preparations for Olmsted 200 – the bicentennial of Olmsted’s birth in April 2022. The Friends are working closely with the park, local organizations, particularly the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the National Association for Olmsted Parks on plans to celebrate this event and recognize the importance of parks and Olmsted landscapes in providing access to open space. Our goal is to raise $25,000 per year to support the park, public programs and Olmsted 200. Please click here to make your online contribution.

We launched our new year of programs and initiatives beginning with our December 3, 2020 lecture, “The Olmsted Brothers’ Planning in California: A Prescient Approach to Ecological Design” by Christine E. O’Hara, Professor, California Polytechnic, San Louis Obispo with a response by Fadi Masoud, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto.

In early 2021, the Friends will announce a new round of Charles Beveridge Research Fellowship grants utilizing the Olmsted Archives at Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, recognizing the substantial work the NPS has done to make many records accessible online. Please check our website for regular updates, news, programs, and the Beveridge Fellowship announcement.

We hope we can depend on you to continue your involvement with and support to Friends of Fairsted and Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. Thank you in advance and we look forward to a productive 2021.

Lauren G. Meier ASLA


October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020


(gifts and gifts-in-kind received between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020)

Gifts of $1,000 or more
Alan Banks
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Doran

Gifts of $500 – $999
Arleyn Levee
Kyle Zick

Gifts of $250 – $499
Sarah Freeman
Friends of the Muddy River
Patrice Kish and Bennie DiNardo
Margaret McKee
Lauren Meier
Sally Muspratt
National Association for Olmsted Parks
Carlo Rotella
Pat Suhrcke
Benjamin and Katherine Taylor

Gifts of $100 – $249
Martina Albright
Phyllis Andersen
Tom Clasby and Deborah Rivers
Lee Cook
Charles Cooney
Laura Damplo
John Dempsey
Rolf Diamant and Nora Mitchell
Sheila Donahue
Ray Dunetz
Camille Larson
Erica Max
Robert and Susan Mayer
Mauney-Brodeck Giving Fund
Timothy Nickerson
Northborough Garden Club
James Olmsted
Sam Valentine

Gifts of $1 – $99
Karl Alexander
Clair Goulthorpe
Patrick Guthrie
Rev. Dr. Tom Jones
James Koll
Howard Mayberry
Frank Olney
William Lee Roberts, Barta Roberts Family Fund
Jacqueline Royce
Sandra Simonsen
Walpole Women’s Club
Catherine Zusy

Lecture Series Sponsors
Friends of the Muddy River
National Association for Olmsted Parks

Gifts in Honor of Alan Banks
Northborough Garden Club
Walpole Women’s Club

In-Kind Contributions
Boston University
Alison Bassett
Annie Blair
Betsy Igleheart
Wendy Machmuller
Nancy McGovern
Vicky Ross
Maddie Webster
Sarah Vance


• Our Lecture Series began with the November 2019 Fall Lecture, “Climate Change and Urban Landscapes: Extending Olmsted’s Legacy,” presented by Chris Reed, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Boston MA.
• The Friends collaborated with Olmsted National Historic Site on a webinar panel discussion in August 2020 focused on the California Forever film featuring Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.’s plan for the California State Park System.

Fairsted Reading Room
• Development of the Fairsted Reading Room continued in 2019-2020, with over 200 titles now on the shelves. A complete bibliography of books in the Reading Room will be available in early 2021 on the Friends website.
• The Friends recovered the wicker chair cushions in the Conservatory in a fabric that is compatible with the restored historic finishes on the first floor.

• Friends of Fairsted provided grants to Olmsted National Historic Site education and archive interns.

Strategic Planning
• Friends of Fairsted collaborated with the National Park Service on strategic planning for the next five years, led by a consultant team from the nonprofit Consensus Building Institute (CBI).

• To the Archives at Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site on their continued work to digitize and upload plans and images so they are readily accessible to researchers. The Olmsted Archives Flickr collection now has over 188,000 items online.
• To the Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted and Series Editor Charles Beveridge on the completion of the twelve-volume series. The final book, Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Communities and Private Estates, is a visual tribute to the archives at Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.

Lauren G. Meier
President (2020)
Tim Nickerson
President (2019)
Patricia Suhrcke
Vice President
Ray Dunetz
Nancy McGovern

Alan S. Banks
Alison Bassett
Elizabeth Igleheart
Arleyn A. Levee
Wendy Machmuller
Jay Olmsted
Sam Valentine
Maddie Webster
Kyle Zick

Thanks to Directors retiring in 2020
Annie Blair
Phyllis Andersen
Erica Max
Timothy Nickerson
Vicky Ross
Carlo Rotella
Sarah Vance