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Thread: NY Times op-ed - "Lady Bird’s Lost Legacy"

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003

    NY Times op-ed - "Lady Bird’s Lost Legacy"


    The obituaries for Lady Bird Johnson last week focused mainly on her advocacy for highway beautification, largely failing to note that nearly all of the 200 laws related to the environment during the Johnson administration had her stamp on them, including the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and many additions to the national parks system. She worked to protect the redwoods and block the damming of the Grand Canyon.

    The environmental movement was just being born — Rachel Carson had published “Silent Spring” the year before Johnson took office — but it found in Lady Bird its most effective advocate. She hoped to leave the country more beautiful than she found it, and there is no doubt that she did so — beginning with her efforts at cleaning up the slums of the nation’s capital to the creation of the National Wildflower Research Center here in Austin.

    At the Conference on Natural Beauty that was held in the White House in 1966, Lady Bird Johnson asked a question:
    “Can a great, democratic society generate the drive to plan, and having planned, execute projects of great natural beauty?”
    The answer to her question so far, unfortunately, is evident.
    A good tribute.

    Did anybody study and write about her contributions/vision when they were in school ?
    Only after her death we truely come to appreciate her works and the results ?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    One of the first landscape architects I ever met, back when I was researching careers, told me that LAs have Lady Bird to thank for doing a lot to advance the profession and make it more widely known. The % of funds for Federal highway projects that have to go for wildflowers is one of her legacies.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

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