About Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks

Our Mission

Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks (FSOP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Seattle’s unique Olmsted landscape heritage and raising awareness of the Olmsted philosophy of providing open space for all people.

What we do

FSOP hosts programs and creates educational materials to expand public knowledge of and appreciation for the extensive Olmsted legacy in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle’s parks and boulevards system, the University of Washington campus, the Washington state capitol grounds, and many residential subdivisions and private estates.

FSOP also works closely with the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and other public agencies to provide independent review of projects in the city’s Olmsted system of parks and boulevards. FSOP helps ensure that proposed changes are consistent with the designs developed by the Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects firm for the individual parks and boulevards. FSOP also reviews projects to better preserve or enhance the role and character of the park or boulevard within the overall system as planned by John Charles Olmsted for the City of Seattle between 1903 and 1912.

Who we are

The FSOP board is composed of citizens with expertise in landscape architecture, history, horticulture, arboriculture, business management, and marketing. Several past and current board members are involved in the preservation and revitalization of individual Olmsted-influenced landscapes in addition to their participation in FSOP’s work.

The Board of Directors meet monthly. Some meetings are hosted virtually, others in person. The meetings typically last an hour and half and are held in the evening. The public is welcome to attend. Please send an email to Friends@SeattleOlmsted.Org for the date, time and location or access information of the next Board of Directors meeting.

statement on race and social justice

The Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks acknowledges that all of the Seattle’s parks and boulevards are on the traditional lands and on the adjacent waters of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Duwamish Tribe.

Our work adheres to the following principles in undertaking its mission “to preserve Seattle’s unique Olmsted landscape heritage and raise awareness of the Olmsted philosophy of providing open space for all people”:

  • Commitment to the Historical and Contemporary Significance of Seattle’s Olmsted Legacy
  • Commitment to the Value of Seattle’s Genius of Place
  • Commitment to the Value of Natural Spaces
  • Commitment to the Principle of Access for All

Seattle’s system of interconnected parks and boulevards was designed by the Olmsted Brothers landscape architectural firm in the first decade of the 20th century at the request of Seattle’s Board of Park Commissioners.  The series of plans prepared and submitted by the Olmsted Brothers sought to take advantage of Seattle’s “genius of place,” namely its scenic beauty and unique locations throughout the area that constituted the boundaries of the city at that time.  Equally as important, the Olmsteds strived to implement Frederick Olmsted Sr.’s belief that a city park should provide “the prospect of coming together, all classes largely represented,” with “each individual adding by his mere presence to the pleasure of all others.” The senior Olmsted had hoped, as did his sons, that an egalitarian society would be made more robust through common use of these public spaces.

The Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks will honor these intentions while we evaluate our principles and practices and in doing so we will include all people and foster respect, trust, and understanding in our engagements with Seattle’s diverse communities.

FSOP Board Members

Douglas Luetjen, President
Attorney; Trustee, Olmsted Network (FKA National Association for Olmsted Parks)

Bob Baines
Retired Parks Employee

Troy Britt
Landscape Architect

Kyle Capizzi

Sue Nicol
Horticulturist/ Certified Arborist

Donald Harris, Vice-President Retired Seattle Parks and Recreation, Manager; Former Trustee, Olmsted Network (FKA National Association for Olmsted Parks)

Kathleen Conner
Retired Parks Employee

Tanya DeMarsh-Dodson

Laura Marie Rivera
Actor, Artist, Educator

Paul Tankel
Architect / Campus Planner 

Shauna Wilson
Creative Programs and Community Engagement

Advisory Board

Jerry Arbes
Designer/Planner, Olmsted Researcher

John Barber
Open Space Advocates, Friends of Frink Park

Eliza Davidson

David Dougherty

Ann Hunt

Anne Knight
Designer/Planner, Olmsted Researcher

Brooks Kolb
Landscape Architect

Kate Krafft
King County Landmark Coordinator

Penny Kriese
Tree Advocate; Master Gardener

Andy Mitton
Landscape Architect

Susan Olmsted
Landscape Architect

Jennifer Ott

Jenifer Rees Landscape Architect, Artist

Carla Rickerson
UW Special Collections; Founding FSOP Board Member

Larry Sinnott

Virginia Wilcox
Past Member Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board

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