Olmsted National Historic Site
This week, the field team visited Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, MA. The Olmsted house was built in 1810 and acquired by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1883, and served as his home and office until his death in 1903. The house remained in the possession of his family until 1936. The land was donated to the National Parks Service in 1980, with the addition of the Green Hill area in 2001. Since 2016, land restoration efforts have been underway in an attempt to restore the landscape to its Olmsted-era condition. This week, the Branching Out team made a substantial contribution to these restoration efforts.
We started with an educational activity: we split into pairs and each group took on the task of creating a perfect park for the needs and desires of a “client.” Using paths, benches, light posts, streams, ponds, and vegetation elements, we were able to design attractive and functional parks on a small scale.
At the end of the activity, we pushed all the plots of land together to create one perfect park that a whole community can enjoy.
Moving into our project work, we followed the example of our technical experts Elliot and Bill in identifying and removing invasive vines from the meadow and pruning suckers from the bases of old-growth linden trees to promote growth.
The following day, we began work on the stone pathway leading to the visitors’ center, which contained many jutting and hazardous rocks. Our mission: to dig up and reset those stones so that they were level.
With the whole team working together, we were able to level the pathway in no time and provided an eye-catching product that removed the tripping hazard present before.
Finally, we met with another youth conservation crew, the Stewards of the Future, and presented our teach-back to our largest audience yet. And of course, we took a final group photo:
Until next week!