The Olmsted Medal was instituted in 1990 to recognize individuals, organizations, agencies, or programs outside the profession of landscape architecture for environmental leadership, vision, and stewardship.
The Honorable Wangari Maathai, PhD, Honorary ASLA, is Kenya’s Assistant Secretary of Environment, Wildlife and Natural Resources and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Born in Kenya in 1940, she fought to be educated, eventually becoming head of the veterinary medical faculty at the University of Nairobi. When she noticed her country’s deforestation and increasing desertification, she decided to take action by teaching women to plant trees. Her organization, The Green Belt Movement, has assisted women in planting over 20 million trees in Kenya and all over East Africa. In 2003 she was elected to Kenya’s Parliament, and last year she was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Maathai says, “It is evident that many wars are fought over resources, which are now becoming increasingly scarce. If we conserved our resources better, fighting over them would not occur. . . so, protecting the global environment is directly related to securing peace.”
Read the nomination letter from Susan L.B. Jacobson, FASLA, and support letters from Kenneth R. Brooks, ASLA, Sandra J. Gonzalez, ASLA, and Patrick A. Miller, FASLA.
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