2022 marks the 200th birth year of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., a social reformer and founder of American landscape architecture. Gardens and public parks across the United States are joining forces this year to celebrate the enduring legacy Olmsted, his son Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., and their firm made on our nation.

Bok Tower Gardens, a landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., will be a part of this national movement and present an exciting year of exhibits, educational programs, and events.

You can learn more about Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and the national celebration at Olmsted 200

Walk in the Footsteps of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.

During your visit, we invite you to walk in Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr’s footsteps to discover how he used nature as a living canvas. Delve into the Olmsted legacy with a beautiful exhibit in the Visitor Center and a self-guided outdoor walking tour beginning January 7, 2022. Exhibits will be on display throughout 2022.

Olmsted Legacy Speaker Series

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America
PBS Film Screening

Sunday, January 9, 2022
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Visitor Center Theatre
Included with general admission or membership

Join us in the Visitor Center Theatre for a special viewing of the PBS film: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America. Self-taught Renaissance man Frederick Law Olmsted, his two sons and the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm left a huge imprint upon the landscapes of North America. Public parks, private estates and gardens, residential neighborhoods, entire community designs, and institutional campuses. Not only did Frederick Law Olmsted and his progeny found the field of landscape architecture, they also were early proponents of urban planning. The Olmsted design philosophy addressed public health—physical and mental health, and issues of equity and access that are even more relevant to contemporary park managers and users. Frederick Law Olmsted foresaw the crucial role of the experience of nature in the urban setting and the very role that parks can play for the enactment of democracy in a multi-ethnic, multiracial society.

Florence Williams
Your Brain On Nature: Why Being Outside Makes Us Feel Happier, Healthier and More Creative

Saturday, January 15, 2022
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Virtual Zoom Webinar: Visitor Center Theatre or in the comfort of your own home
Free for members, $16 non-members

Journalist and author Florence Williams will present the latest evidence on the science behind why nature is good for us, from cognition to mental health. She incorporates reporting and research from around the world for insights into how being in green spaces changes our brains and physiologies. What constitutes exposure to nature? What is the dose for optimal benefit and how are doctors and patients medicalizing time in parks? How do we best re-connect in a time of increasing disconnection?

Arleyn Levee
Designing For Community: Olmsted Residential Planning and Its Greater Context

Saturday, February 19, 2022
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Visitor Center Theatre
Free for members, $16 non-members

Whether for park, institution, residential complex or individual property, the Olmsted firm considered its design and planning commissions as interrelated components within a greater context. Beyond their clients’ stated needs, their designs looked further than a projects’ boundaries to potential linkages for educative value, for protection, amelioration or enhancement of natural scenery, and for service to the wider community. Arleyn Levee, landscape designer, historian and preservationist, will explore these themes, drawing from examples throughout the Olmsted firm’s canon of work  over more than a century, emphasizing the relationships to the Lake Wales projects.

Amanda Staerker
The Olmsted Legacy In Today’s Master Planned Communities

Saturday, March 5, 2022
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Visitor Center Theatre
Free for members, $16 non-members

Olmsted planning principles like “Places for all” has stood the test of time and have become a natural part of the modern planning process. Carefully curated historic projects such as Riverside have set an example for today’s active lifestyles and business models across the country. Join Landscape Architect Amanda Staerker to take a look at how the neighborhoods and master-planned communities you live in are shaped through the use of public space, connection with nature, integrated trail systems, transportation, and more. Explore examples of modern amenities in the Olmsted language around the US. The presentation will “FLO” from town & community level to “lot” level, leaving guests with some Olmsted-inspired design tips & tricks that they can implement at home.

Laurence Cotton
The Olmsted Legacy: Bringing Nature To The City and Creating Breathing Space For Democracy

Saturday, March 12, 2022
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Visitor Center Theatre
Free for members, $16 non-members

Join us to experience an illustrated presentation on The Olmsted Legacy by writer, public historian and filmmaker Laurence Cotton. Mr. Cotton originated and served as Consulting Producer to the NEH-funded, nationally broadcast PBS special “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America.” He will present an information rich and entertaining talk about Frederick Law Olmsted’s life, career and legacy and presents a mini-travelogue of select Olmsted landscapes across N. America—those designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the two sons and the Olmsted Bros. landscape architecture firm. Learn about this extraordinary legacy of a Renaissance man and how his philosophy, his writings and his designs are still relevant today.

Victor Dover
Reviving The Olmsted Vision For Lake Wales

Saturday, April 23, 2022
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Visitor Center Theatre
Free for members, $16 non-members

Urban designer Victor Dover will introduce Lake Wales Connected, the City’s new master plan for revitalization linking the historic downtown and its nearby Northwest neighborhood. Lake Wales Connected calls for an ambitious tree planting campaign and street upgrades that will re-start the Olmsted Brothers vision for a “city in a garden.”


Inspired by Nature: The 25th Annual International Carillon Festival

The 2022 International Carillon Festival will celebrate the Olmsted legacy Wednesday, March 16 through Sunday, March 20 with concerts inspired by Olmsted and the beauty of nature. Join four of the world’s top musicians as they present extraordinary carillon concerts each day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. All concerts are free for members and included in general admission.

The festival will be highlighted by a performance of the winning submission from the National Association for Olmsted Parks Olmsted 200 Carillon Composition Contest: Inspired by Olmsted. Carillonneurs from around the world submitted original pieces inspired by the beauty of Olmsted’s landscapes and will be performing their pieces at their home carillon throughout 2022. The winning piece will be performed during the opening recital on Wednesday, March 16 by Geert D’hollander.


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