NAOP Honors Marion Pressley with the 2016 Olmsted Stewardship Award
National Association of Olmsted Parks
Boston, Massachusetts: On June 10, 2016, the Board of Trustees of the National Association for Olmsted Parks proudly presented the 2016 Olmsted Stewardship Award to landscape architect, and Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Marion Pressley, FASLA. The Olmsted Stewardship Award recognizes an individual for their outstanding stewardship of the living legacy of landscapes designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and by his sons, his associates, and his successor firms. The individuals nominated for the Olmsted Stewardship Award have shown a sustained commitment and a record of accomplishment in researching, managing, preserving, and interpreting Olmsted landscapes for future generations. For more than 30 years, Marion Pressley has worked to restore and preserve Boston and Brookline’s Emerald Necklace park system, designed by Olmsted, his sons, and his associates, beginning in 1878. The Boston-Brookline Emerald Necklace is the most significant park system designed by the Olmsted firms, and retains substantial integrity. Stretching almost seven miles from Charlesgate to Franklin Park, the Emerald Necklace was also the first urban greenway of its type. The Emerald Necklace park system is unique in the United States and in the world, although its influence as a precedent continues to shape landscape architecture and landscape urbanism today. Pressley has been researching, creating management and restoration plans, and acting as an advocate for Olmsted’s Boston and Brookline parks for decades. Her work and influence has been essential to retaining this great heritage, perhaps most notably as the principal author of the 2001 Master Plan, and to guiding restoration efforts today. As Co-Chair Ethan Carr noted: “Without stewards like Marion Pressley, the legacy of Olmsted parks—always subject to pressures, threats, and encroachments—could not survive. The National Association for Olmsted Parks is honored to present its 2016 Olmsted Stewardship Award to Marion Pressley.”
Marion is an active member of BSLA leadership, having served in multiple positions including President and Trustee.