In preparation for our guest speaker this week I showed the men the Olmsted Legacy: America’s Urban Parks video. National Park Ranger Alan Banks comes in every few months to tell the men about the history of the Emerald Necklace Parks.
I then give the men a resume that illustrates the work they have done in the parks as a way to provide them the language to use when they go to apply for a job. I want them to see how relevant their work is, how important the parks are as well as how transferable their acquired skills are to a life beyond prison.
Olmsted created the Emerald Necklace parks to keep nature in the city, as an antidote to the artificiality of urban life and to provide physical and psychological health to all.
I often wish I could meet Olmsted and ask him how he would work with these men and how best to inspire them.