Mall Makeover? Landscaping Project to Improve National Mall in D.C.

Mall Makeover? Landscaping Project to Improve National Mall in D.C.
Constitution Gardens on National Mall

Constitution Gardens on National Mall

New landscaping, an ice skating rink and restaurants are planned for D.C.'s National Mall thanks to an improvement project for part of America’s Front Yard.

The Trust for the National Mall recently selected Constitution Gardens for the project, which will last several years and cost close to $150 million.

It's a small step to fixing what Washingtonians and politicians alike have called the sad condition of the National Mall.

"Obviously, the need is just so great that there was no denying we needed to try and get this one built as soon as we could," Teresa Durkin, the project's director tells the Associated Press.

Durkin adds that "people need a place to decompress" after visiting Washington's museums and monuments "and have a little fun and be in a beautiful place."

The construction will be privately funded and managed by the nonprofit group then handed over to the National Park Service.

You may not have the backing of a major nonprofit or the National Park Service, but don’t let that stop you. Your front yard and gardens can be improved, too, with the right local landscape professional on the job.

But what type of pro is needed for your lawn project? Here are a few terms to point you in the direction to improve your personal Constitution Gardens.


These professionals can plant new trees and shrubbery; remove, modify and replace existing plants and materials, such as mulch; establish new planting beds; install sod or seed a new lawn; and provide routine maintenance.

Some landscapers offer design services, but usually they work from plans the homeowner commissioned from a landscape architect or landscape designer.

Many landscapers offer irrigation and sprinkler services, but there are also individualized specialists who can install these systems.

Landscape Architect

If you aren't sure what you want, or if your grand plan requires changing the lay of the land, you may need to start with a landscape architect.

These professionals often work on large custom home projects, providing overall site plans for drainage and landscaping. They can also work on smaller, yet complex, residential projects.

Often landscape architects are involved in commercial and municipal projects as well.

They have advanced education and professional training. Nearly every state in the U.S. requires landscape architects to be licensed.

Landscape Designer

Many of these designers have horticulture backgrounds or nursery experience and can design a landscape for a new home or renovate an existing area. They're very good at providing a blueprint for your yard, indicating where each plant and feature should be placed.

Typically, designers are trained under the apprentice system and aren't licensed.



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