Jens Jensen The Living Green
Jens Jensen The Living Green
Jens Jensen The Living Green
Item#: JEN-1100
Choose License:  Format: 

Running Time: 54 minutes
Grades 7 – Adult
A Film by Carey Lundin and Mark Frazel of Viva Lundin Productions
Closed Captioned • Scene Selection



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

"Recommended. Insight into the life and talents of Jens Jensen...considered the 'dean of the world’s' landscape architects that utilized the native plants of the countryside."
– NSTA Recommends

"Highly recommended. Follows the extraordinary life and legacy of the Danish-American landscape architect. A great inspiring story...for schools, public and academic library collections."
– Educational Media Reviews Online

"An inspirational story, this striking and informative documentary can be used in social science classes studying environmental and urban history."
– School Library Journal

“The spirit of Jens Jensen is strongly present in our times. You can find that in the way we discuss green space in the city today.”
– Piet Oudolf, Landscape Designer of NY’s Highline and Chicago’s Millennium Park

“A thoughtful, compelling, inspiring documentary.”
– Chicago Tribune

"The Mount Rushmore of Prairie School giants is now complete. To Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan add Jens Jensen."
– Eric Utne, Founder, Utne Reader

“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

Jens Jensen The Living Green resurrects for a broad public the story of a visionary who helped transform the way that Chicagoans and American experience nature. Filmmaker Carey Lundin gracefully creates a narrative that is rigorous enough to appeal to the landscape architecture community, yet also broadly accessible for lovers of nature, parks, and history.”
– Jerry Adelmann, CEO, Openlands

“Our teenage volunteers found both inspiration and a kindred spirit through this brilliant film. Jens Jensen The Living Green speaks directly to their aspirations of building a more sustainable world by starting at home.”
– Kevin Hamilton, Student Conservation Association

“Carey Lundin’s extraordinary documentary ignites action, educates and seeds change…to help build the next generation of environmental activists."
– Kathryn Stoddard, Vice-President, Earth Day



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



All prices include DVD and limited PPR
• K-12 Schools, Public Libraries & Community Groups: $79
• Colleges, Government, Business: $250
• Colleges, Government, Business (with DSL): $550

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


Designing Healthy Communities Series
A 4 part series with book and supplemental media that takes a comprehensive look at the impact America’s built environment has on public health, and innovative solutions to turn things around. Broadcast on PBS.