Historic properties generally have a cultural landscape component integral to their significance; sometimes the landscape is the primary historic resource. Explore the definition and breadth of cultural landscape types. Learn how landscape preservation evolved in the United States and the related development of organizations formed to preserve landscapes. Discover guidance documents available to understand landscapes. Review the terminology used to describe landscapes, including characteristics: from natural systems and land use, to circulation, vegetation, views, and more.


  • Define cultural landscape
  • Understand the wide variety of cultural landscapes in the United States
  • Learn about landscape types:
    • Historic designed landscapes
    • Historic vernacular landscapes
    • Ethnographic landscapes
    • Historic sites
  • Examine how landscape preservation began and evolved in the United States
  • Learn about documents that address cultural landscapes
    • National Park Service (NPS) National Register bulletins 
    • Other NPS guidance
  • Identify American landscape preservation advocacy organizations
  • Find out about the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) and its role in landscape preservation
  • Discover that most historic properties have a landscape component
  • Identify which National Register of Historic Places property types may apply when the landscape is the primary historic resource
  • Review NPS’s list of characteristics used to describe cultural landscapes
  • Discover sources of additional information

Training Curriculum

60-minute, on-demand eLearning

  • 1

    Welcome Letter

    • NPI Welcome Letter

  • 2


    • Cultural Landscapes: An Overview: Introduction

    • Cultural Landscapes: An Overview: Part 1

    • Cultural Landscapes: An Overview: Part 2

    • Cultural Landscapes: An Overview: Part 3

    • Cultural Landscapes: An Overview: Part 4

  • 3

    Download Course Slides

    • Cultural Landscapes: An Overview (slide deck)

  • 4

    Supplemental Materials

    • Cultural Landscape Resources

  • 5

    Download Video Transcript

    • Cultural Landscapes: An Overview (transcript)

  • 6

    Course Evaluation

    • NPI Evaluation



Nancy J. Brown, FASLA

Nancy J. Brown, FASLA, historical landscape architect, experience with National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, University of Virginia, and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; specialist in cultural landscapes and Section 106
Full Bio/CV


This training is suitable for

  • Community leaders, historic preservation specialists, and cultural resource, facility, and project managers in SHPOs

  • THPOs, Main Streets, historical societies

  • Government agencies, tribal organizations, and consultants

Immediate Access

  • $100.00

    Click on "Register Now" and then "Pay with PayPal" to use PayPal or to pay by debit or credit card. Course access is limited to the individual registered and enrolled in the course.

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Customized Training

NPI also offers eLearning and webinar modules as customized training to meet specific organizational needs. They can be tailored to create training at a time convenient to the sponsor. Contact NPI at 703.765.0100 or info@npi.org for further information.