Olmsted Park

Established inĀ 1891

Frederick Law Olmsted said of the park area that would later bear his name: "the locality is at present very attractive, including as it does, Ward's Pond with its verdure-clad, precipitous banks, a steep wooded hill, several groves and two meadows . . ."

Given the inherent beauty of the land, Olmsted made minor changes to it, compared to what was done in the Fens and Riverway. Here he wanted to reveal the natural features to us. To do this, he designed pathways and planting patterns that would create a series of dramatic vistas that unfold the shapes, proportions and relationships of the landforms before us.

Originally, this park was intended to have an educational function too. South of Willow Pond Road, small pools were carved out to be used as natural history exhibits. When needed funds did not materialize, most of the pools were soon filled in.

On warm summer evenings, Olmsted's sweeping meadow is the scene of spirited neighborhood ball games on what is now Daisy Field, while Ward's Pond remains a peaceful preserve.

Much of the park is heavily wooded, but Leverett Pond, forming the western border, presents a beautiful vista. Olmsted planned it this way; he favored open and closed landscapes in sequence to create a varied experience for the viewer.

The Muddy River and Leverett Pond form the boundary between the City of Boston and the Town of Brookline.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy is a non-profit citizen's advocacy group whose mission is to protect, restore, maintain and promote the landscape, waterways and parkways of the Emerald Necklace park system as special places for people to visit and enjoy. The organization focuses on the six parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.