Toast Frederick Law Olmsted, Granddaddy of the Emerald Necklace, on His 200th Birthday

Green-space lovers will be celebrating his bicentennial at Jamaica Pond on Wednesday.

frederick law olmsted

Jamaica Pond photo by DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images | Olmsted illustration via ilbusca/Getty Images | Birthday hat image via by George Mdivanian /EyeEm/Getty Images | Illustration by Spencer Buell

If you’ve ever enjoyed taking a stroll through the Emerald Necklace, Boston’s famed network of parks stretching from Back Bay to Dorchester, you’ve got Frederick Law Olmsted to thank. He is, after all, the visionary who imagined a vast, interconnected system of green spaces for the public to enjoy back in the 1800s.

You’ll get a chance to do just that on Wednesday, April 27, when fans of the parks, and of the man who dreamed them up all those years ago, will gather at Jamaica Pond to toast him on his 200th birthday. (It had to be rescheduled from Tuesday due to bad weather).

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy and Olmsted 2022 on Wednesday night will host a celebration for his bicentennial at the Jamaica Pond Boathouse. The event runs from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and is free to the public (although donations are encouraged). Among the attractions for the party are a large birthday cake, a speaking program and ceremony, a storytelling performance accompanied by a Celtic harpist, and an actor portraying the birthday boy himself.

There have been many reasons to celebrate the Emerald Necklace lately, notably the parks’ extra flare during the winter, when several of their bridges and trees were bathed in emerald-green lights.

Boston is not the only city to benefit from his contributions to the field of landscape architecture. His long list of credits also includes Central Park, the Niagara Reservation, and Mount Royal Park in Montreal. (From the looks of it, other parks are also celebrating his birthday this week).

So whatever you do, raise a glass to an absolute legend this week, and maybe do it in the company of some fellow park appreciators on Wednesday evening.