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Back Bay Fens. Creative Commons photo by Andrea MonariBack Bay Fens. Creative Commons photo by Andrea Monari

In the spirit of World Landscape Architecture Month it seems only appropriate I share a post about Frederick Law Olmstead, a towering figure in our field. To expand a bit upon Dima’s post referencing Frederick Law Olmstead’s visionary foresight, I believe he was definitely a visionary designer for his work on Boston’s Back Bay Fens. Known most famously as one of the designers of Central Park, Olmstead was also the landscape architect behind America’s first wetland restoration.

Once a tidal marsh fed by the Charles River, this Boston’s Back Bay Fens was polluted by the locals who dumped waste directly into the fragile ecosystem. At high tide, the wetland would overflow. However, at low tide “offensive exudations arose from the mud”, as Olmstead noted himself.

In the Back Bay Fens, Boston, Mass. Via Boston Public LibraryIn the Back Bay Fens, Boston, Mass. Via Boston Public Library

Understanding the harsh, yet ecologically sensitive and complex…

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