June 04, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Father of American landscape architecture to be honored

The Springfield Host Lions Club and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board honor Frederick Law Olmsted Thursday, June 6, 6 p.m., near the Botanical Center at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.

Olmsted, 1822-1903, is considered the father of American landscape architecture. His design firm contributed to more than 2,000 city parks and public grounds, including New York's Central Park, the US Capitol Grounds, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

A story stone detailing Olmsted's legacy will be placed in the Host Lions History Walk Thursday, joining 28 other story stones honoring important Americans at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. The History Walk was established in 1992.

"The story stones lay flat on the ground, so you discover them as you're exploring the History Walk near the playground," said Katie Steinhoff, Botanical Center Coordinator. "Each stone includes a paragraph about an American who made a difference. A lot of school field trips come see them, and the Host Lions Club coordinates activities with blind individuals who can feel the stones. It's a fun history lesson for everyone."

The Olmsted story stone is sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, in recognition of the Park Board's 100th birthday in 2013. Steinhoff said Olmsted is an appropriate honoree for the Park Board centennial.

"He really captured the experience of modern parks — the idea of opening windows and great vistas and neat little garden niches, and he was very clever in how he could make you feel the space was yours, even thought there might be 5,000 other people in the park," said Steinhoff. Some of Olmsted's design principles are employed at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, she added, including the Great Lawn and the Dwarf Conifer Garden.

For more information, contact:
Katie Steinhoff, Botanical Center Coordinator, 417-891-1511
Jim Schatz, Springfield Host Lions Club, 417-833-9879
Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.