The Emerald Necklace Conservancy honored the Olmsted Now Committee of Neighborhoods with the Olmsted Award of Excellence on February 1 at the Curley House in Jamaica Plain.
The Olmsted Now Committee of Neighborhoods was formed to rectify a structural inequality in park decision-making in Greater Boston, on the occasion of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Bicentennial in 2022. Comprised of intergenerational leaders working across a wide array of disciplines in the Roxbury, Mattapan, Grove Hall and Dorchester neighborhoods, the Committee re-centers programming decisions in the communities that are impacted the most by them and distributed over $200,000 in grants to fund community-generated bicentennial programs focused on parks equity and spatial justice.
The Olmsted Now Committee of Neighborhoods consists of Andrew Sharpe, Authentic Caribbean Foundation; Anita Morson-Matra, Baldwin in the Park; Ambar Johnson, Livable Streets Alliance; artist Barrington Edwards; Biplaw Rai, Comfort Kitchen; Jay Lee, Franklin Park Coalition/City of Boston; John Linehan, Franklin Park Zoo/Greater Grove Hall Main Streets; Karenlyn Bunch, Greater Grove Hall Main Streets; artist Karen Young; Nakia Hill, 826 Boston/City of Boston; Paul Willis, 826 Boston; Pat Spence, Urban Farming Institute; Shavel’le Olivier, Mattapan Food & Fitness; and Kay Savage, Mattapan Food & Fitness.
“Last year was a moment for all of us to collectively reimagine how parks and public space could meet Olmsted’s legacy ideals NOW: how greenspace could be truly open and accessible to all, where all feel they can fully belong, express and be. Given our mission to steward not just these parks but Olmsted’s ideas of healing and connection, especially coming out of a pandemic,