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Jens Jensen The Living Green

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $325
K-12 Single School DVD: $99


Grade Level: JrH-Adult
Producer: Video Project
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 54 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2014
Available in French: No

Jens Jensen The Living Green profiles the unsung pioneer landscape architect who became one of the nation’s most influential urban designers and early conservationists, shaping the Midwest’s physical and cultural landscape in an enduring way.

Danish born Jensen rose from immigrant street sweeper in the 1880’s to “dean of American landscape architects”, as the New York Times called him upon his death in 1951.

When Jensen arrived in Chicago in 1885, it was one of the fastest growing cities in human history, and one of the least livable, especially for the working poor. Inspired by the Midwest prairie and plains, Jensen believed that urban dwellers needed the beauty of nature in their lives and “green space to survive”, and he found creative ways to bring it to them.

Jensen revered the region’s indigenous scenery and native plants, creating the “Prairie style" of landscape architecture, and leading a movement to conserve threatened natural areas. He created Columbus Park on the western edge of Chicago, now a national historic landmark, as well as over 600 parks and gardens throughout the Midwest and other regions.

As a devout conservationist, Jensen led opposition to Andrew Carnegie and JP Morgan’s industrialization of the Indiana shoreline, which later became Indiana Dunes National Park.

Jens Jensen The Living Green is illustrated with archival footage, photos and interviews, including with Jensen himself, that trace his remarkable rise, career, and lasting influence as a man ahead of his time.

Half a century after his death, Jensen is now hailed as a pioneer of sustainable design, an early champion of native species, and an unsung American hero.

Narrated by Jens Jensen’s Great Granddaughter, Jensen Wheeler Wolfe

Closed captioned with scene selection.
"Recommended. Jensen's innovative designs preceded today’s green movement and his work deserves broader recognition.” – Booklist

“This lyrical and engaging film introduces us to a remarkable pioneer in the conservation of green spaces and his quest to humanize modern cities. Moreover, its global perspective provides a critical world historical narrative for the 21st century classroom.”
– Dr. Candice Goucher, Prof of History,
Center for Social and Environmental Justice, Washington State University

Hugo Award, Silver Plaque Documentary: History/Biography, Chicago International Film Fest Television Awards
Best Feature Documentary, Wild Rose Independent Film Festival
Accolade Award of Excellence
Audience Award, Best Director, Green Bay Film Festival

Studio City International Film Festival
Architecture and Design Film Festival
International Documentary Film Association
One Earth Film Festival
Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Ft. Myers International Film Festival

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