PIONEERING THE FUTURE OF SOUTH PARK ARBORETUM
Margaret M. Lapp, South Park Arboretum Curator of the Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy, will share the history behind South Park Arboretum, channeling the inspiration of both Theodore Roosevelt & Frederick Law Olmsted, contemporary visionaries in the beginning of the 20th century. Lapp will share the progress of the ongoing restoration of the Arboretum, an historic Olmstedian landscape, and describe the healing potential it has for the surrounding communities.
Margaret Lapp is an engaging social change agent, who values the interplay of health outcomes, the built environment and access to green space. Lapp is Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy’s first Arboretum Curator where she oversees the entire South Park Arboretum restoration; its development, implementation and the curation of a highly anticipated tree collection. Lapp’s work includes creating foundational documents and policies while developing the arboretum’s future interpretive and educational programming.
The first to combine a Master of Landscape Architecture, from SUNY ESF, and a Master of Public Health, from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Lapp is a knowledge-seeker who values the power of research and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Earning a certificate of Healthcare Garden Design from the Chicago Botanic Garden, she continues in her advocacy for the healing power of landscapes. Lapp is an adjunct instructor in the Horticulture Program at Niagara County Community College where she enjoys teaching Art and History of Horticulture, and is studying to become a certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
A curiosity for horticulture propelled her from her family’s vegetable farm to South America by way of Cornell. As the Cornell University Dreer Award recipient, Lapp designed the first highland ethnobotanic garden, as part of an Ecuadorian Food for Peace project. The project received attention from international associations including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bioversity International, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Her work included understanding and facilitating often disparate interests of the greater USDA agrobiodiversity project and local community groups.