As deputy head of fictional Pawnee’s parks department, NBC’s Parks and Recreation heroine Leslie Knope’s crowning achievement was converting an eyesore pit into a green recreational space.
While her field would wilt in comparison to, say, Central Park, we’re sure she’d be fascinated by the mastermind behind that lush, iconic New York oasis. The man responsible? That’d be Frederick Law Olmsted, also known as the father of American landscape architecture.
When he wasn’t busy being a journalist and social commentator, Olmsted helmed the creation of urban parks across the nation. His role in the evolution of public park architecture is explored in the documentary Olmsted and America’s Urban Parks, showing Thursday, January 12.