Gerry Wright, long-time Jamaica Plain resident, parks supporter and social and environmental justice advocate, received the National Association for Olmsted Parks’ (NAOP) Caroline Loughlin Volunteer Service Award. The D.C. based organization works to advance Frederick Law Olmsted principles and legacy of parks and landscapes that revitalize communities and enrich people’s lives.
Wright was recognized at a virtual ceremony held April 30 for his extraordinary dedication and commitment to promoting and protecting the Olmsted legacy. In presenting the award, NAOP CEO and Chair Anne Neal Petri cited Mr. Wright’s “Unique and creative commitment to educating diverse audiences about the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted.” Among those in attendance also paying tribute included Karen Mauney-Brodek, president of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Sarah Freeman of the Arborway Coalition and Betsy Shure Gross, NAOP co-founder.
Wright has long championed the protection and preservation of the Olmsted-designed Emerald Necklace parks in Boston and Brookline through his parks’ advocacy work as co-founder of the Friends of Jamaica Pond and in his role as an Emerald Necklace Conservancy Park Advisor among other volunteer activities.
In 2012, Wright launched Olmsted 2022, to kick off the ten-year countdown to Olmsted’s 200th birthday in 2022. The inaugural event featured a panel of Olmsted scholars, historians and environmental advocates considering the question, “Climate Change: What Would Olmsted Do?”
Since 2003, Wright has been performing his one-act play based on the writings of Olmsted to audiences in New England and beyond.