Olmsted Legacy Task Force

Park planners across the country recognize Seattle's Olmsted park system as one of the best preserved and best designed in the United States. More importantly, while many eastern cities have only one or two Olmsted-designed parks, Seattle has an extensive multi-park plan linked by boulevards. It is this legacy that makes Seattle one of the most livable spots in the country. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and the Friends of Seattle Olmsted Parks (FSOP) have been working together for years on the need for creation of a better partnership and on establishing a plan for the protection, preservation, curation and expansion of the Olmsted legacy in Seattle. The creation of the Olmsted Legacy Task Force was a deepening of the relationship between SPR and FSOP for the benefit of the parks in our community. 

The taskforce met for several months during 2018 to develop recommendations to the Superintendent and the Board of Park Commissioners. Some of these include:    

  • Specific standards of design related to maintaining the character and effect of the Olmsted Parks, such as park furniture, lighting, signage, and landscaping
  • Best practices for maintaining our Olmsted parks and boulevards        
  • Educational programs for informing the public about the Olmsted legacy in Seattle        
  • Innovative approaches for managing Olmsted parks and boulevards
  • How best to export Olmsted design elements to other parks in Seattle; how improve existing and create new green connections between our parks    
  • How to prioritize funding for the recommendations above to be considered in the next iteration of the Park District funding package 
  • Creating a sustainable connection between SPR and the community and improving on the existing connection between SPR and FSOP

In early 2019, the Seattle Olmsted Legacy Task Force presented its report and final recommendations to the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. This report can be found here.