Restoring the Beauty and Legacy of America’s Front Yard

August 16, 2016Marya SkottePartner Stories

Every year, over 33 million people from around the world visit Washington, D.C.’s National Mall and Memorial Parks, making it the most visited national park in the country. The Mall, or “America’s Front Yard,” and its iconic memorials and monuments encompass over 1,000 acres of greenspace, stretching from the U.S. Capitol Building to the Potomac River. It is a space for people to gather and celebrate our freedoms, discover our history, and to observe the beauty of our nation’s capital.

With over a dozen monuments and memorials honoring presidents and veterans, and a large area of green and historical spaces, it is no surprise that the National Mall is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Maintaining and improving this substantial portion of land and history year after year is no small feat and is undertaken by the National Park Service and a team of passionate citizens who care deeply about the lasting legacy of America’s Front Yard.

Founded in 2007, the Trust for the National Mall works tirelessly to connect visitors to the park’s rich history, develop engaging educational events and programs, raise funds to conserve the Mall as a world-class park, and support the National Park Service in implementing sustainable revitalization projects.

The rehabilitation and re-imagination of Constitution Gardens is one of the Trust’s most ambitious tasks. The Constitution Gardens currently encompasses nearly 38 acres of land sitting in between some of the most visited memorials and are just north of the Reflecting Pool.

The revitalized Constitution Gardens will make the space much more than just a park for the relaxation of visitors. The reimagined space will be an environmentally-sustainable place for education, entertainment, and a year-round respite from the concrete jungle of Washington, D.C. The project includes the capture and reuse of rainwater, utilizing the reconstructed and ecologically-productive lake, and a new multi-use pavilion with amenities such as refreshments and opportunities for recreation.

To date, the Trust has raised over $5 million in private funds for phase one of the construction, which includes the relocation and the restoration of the historic Lockkeeper’s House. The restoration will include an exciting state-of-the-art interactive exhibit about the history and the future of the National Mall. The Trust for the National Mall continues to raise awareness and funds in support of Constitution Gardens. The National Park Foundation is proud to work alongside the Trust in raising support for this project.

The rehabilitation of Sylvan Theater is another ongoing project supported by the Trust for the National Mall in conjunction with the National Park Service. At the center of the National Mall, the Washington Monument stands as a symbol of the ideals upon which our nation was founded. The monument grounds at Sylvan Theater will be reimagined to become a performing arts amphitheater nestled in the shadows of the Washington Monument. This project will provide a space for visitors to experience the story of our nation’s past and will illustrate a model of environmental sustainability by using renewable energy and a living green roof that incorporates local plants, sustainable materials, and a rain garden.

The Trust for the National Mall is working passionately to improve, protect, and restore America’s Front Yard so that current and future generations of Americans and visitors from around the world can experience the beauty and legacy of our nation’s capital. To learn more about the Trust for the National Mall’s exciting projects, events, educational programs, and how you can get involved in its ongoing efforts, check out its website and follow on Facebook today!


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