"Nothing was more disturbing to Olmsted in the 1880's than the increased use of exotic plant materials for decorative purposes. The need for public education in sound ecological principals and "natural" gardening motivated Olmsted to join with the noted horticulturist and botanist Charles Sprague Sargent in the planning and design of the Arnold Arboretum (Fein 1972).
Olmsted articulated for his generation and ours a philosophy and a set of working principals for the creation of urban and rural landscapes. The type of planning that considers cities as separate from regions and unrelated to considerations of ecology cannot hope to succeed. All environmental planning must proceed with the awareness that any alterations of ecological processes have deep implications which threaten the health and survivability of both the immediate site area and the larger landscape region. The contemporary challenge to environmental design and planning remains sociological, ecological, and aesthetic, as it was in Olmsted's day (Fein 1972). (Source: Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America - A Planning Design Manual for Environmental Designers)
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