Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced on April 23 that the National Park Service will invest $750 million for the nation’s parks to stimulate the economy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Nearly 800 park projects will receive funds that will be used for construction, deferred maintenance, energy efficient equipment replacement, trails, abandoned mine lands and road maintenance. The park projects meet the Recovery Act’s rigorous criteria and were chosen because they will generate the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time, with lasting value for the American people.
A portion of the National Park Service’s stimulus funds will be used to fund restoration projects on the National Mall, which has a $400 million maintenance backlog. Congress stripped $200 million for the repair of the National Mall from the final stimulus package. Included in the restoration efforts is $30 million for the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool, which is often filled with stagnant water. With $7.3 million the National Park Service wants to restore the District of Columbia War Memorial to a bandstand. Several million will be used for the Jefferson Memorial seawall, which has been sinking into the tidal basin for years. Secretary Salazar sees these funds as a down payment on the challenges the National Mall faces.
On April 14th, an ASLA Design Blue Ribbon panel announced it findings and recommendations for the National Mall, which included addressing imperative repairs of the Tidal Basin seawall, replacement of the Capitol Reflecting Pool, redesign of Union Square, and revitalization of severely compacted lawn areas. A full copy of the findings report as well as executive summary and video clips of the panelists' working session and interviews can be found at www.asla.org/nationalmall. The panel, which met on March 19 and 20, 2009, in Washington, D.C., included leading landscape architects, architects, and planners.
You can view the National Park Service Recovery Act projects by state.