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Children Playing SoccerThe National Park Service’s magazine, Common Ground, focuses on the influence of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted across the country in the summer 2005 issue. Sliced, diced, and in one case censured, the handiwork of Olmsted and his firm has survived and thrived in different mixes of geography, climate, politics, and history. Directors of three groups discuss why: Susan Rademacher of the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Deborah Trimble of the Buffalo Parks Conservancy, and Robert García of The City Project, who takes inspiration from an Olmsted plan that never was, but might be one day. As budgets shrink for urban parks, these organizations have been critical to carrying on the Olmsted legacy.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1930 Olmsted Report, Parks, Playgrounds and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region. The Olmsted Report recommended 71,000 acres of parkland, and another 92,000 acres in outlying areas, with 440 miles of connecting parks and parkways, including a parkway along the Los Angeles River. The Report proposed the joint use of parks, playgrounds, and schools to make optimal use of land and public resources, and called for the doubling of public beach frontage. The City Project is working to renew part of the lost vision. The Olmsted map is available at The Olmsted Vision.