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Connecticut Chapter ASLA Presents Olmsted Award

Mary Donohue is the recipient of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architect's Olmsted Award for 2011.

The Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CTASLA) presented its 2011 Connecticut Olmsted Award to West Hartford resident Mary Donohue, Survey and Grants Director and Senior Architectural Historian for the State Historic Preservation Office of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

The Olmsted Award, named after Connecticut native Frederick Law Olmsted, who founded the modern landscape architecture profession in the 19th century, is given annually by CTASLA to an organization or person from Connecticut who has employed the principle of stewardship of the land as a guiding force in their actions.

With a 30-year career in historic preservation, Donohue has been a tireless advocate for historic landscapes in Connecticut. She was instrumental in getting historic landscapes added to the State Historic Resource Survey and Inventory program (SHRI). Under her leadership, a historic landscape initiative was added to the program and comprehensive surveys were completed for town greens, municipal parks, and outdoor sculpture. These surveys are an important resource for municipal officials, design professionals, preservationists, planners, and property owners. Information garnered in an Historic Resource Survey often leads to a landscape being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places; over one dozen municipal parks in Connecticut have now received that honor.

Donohue oversees the state's historic preservation grant programs - totaling more than $6 million annually - which fund planning studies and restoration projects. Recent initiatives have included master plans for Old North Cemetery, resulting in an investment by the city of Hartford of over one million dollars in rehabilitation work. She recently directed the design competition for the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial, and was appointed by former Gov. Jodi Rell to serve on the Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission.

''Thanks to Mary Donohue's efforts, historic landscapes in Connecticut are being recognized, protected, and appreciated,'' said Jeff Olszewski, CTASLA president, and a landscape architect at Trumbull, CT-based Fuss & O'Neill, Inc.

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December 10, 2019, 7:07 pm PDT

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