“A natural sheet of water, with quiet, graceful shores, rear banks of varied elevation and contour, for the most part shaded by a fine natural forest-growth to be brought out over-hangingly, darkening the water’s edge and favoring great beauty in reflections and flickering half-lights”
-Frederick Law Olmsted
Since 1892, when Frederick Law Olmsted established Jamaica Pond and the Emerald Necklace, the recreational use at Jamaica Pond has changed but the landscape still captures his original vision.
In the 1800’s Jamaica Pond served as a summer home retreat to Boston’s wealthiest residents to escape city life, the ice cutting industry, and hosted thousands of ice skaters each winter. Olmsted incorporated many of the natural features already created by the kettle hole terrain and preserved existing vegetation such as pine, beech, and willow trees.
Branching Out explored the 68 acre pond during a 1.5 mile walk around the pond identifying Olmsted’s landscape features he incorporated in the park’s plan. Participants learned how to calculate a trees age using a diameter tape and discovered that many of these trees dated back to 200 years ago!