The evening before I caught my flight to Merida, an article in Sunday's New York Times caught my attention; as I am sure it captured the attention of anyone who holds DC near and dear to their heart.
Walk down to the National Mall and you will see (and smell) a land in desperate need of help. The Mall is notoriously known as America's front yard, and my friends, our front yard looks like a junk yard; worn and tired. A picture speaks a thousand words, and this recent AP photo speaks volumes as to just how much work is needed to restore our beloved National Mall.
"The Obama administration recently steered $55 million in economic stimulus money toward repairs, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that was only a down payment on the nearly $400 million needed to fix up a national park that draws more visitors than Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite combined." [NYT]
The Mall is a national park which sees 8 times more (25million) visitors per year than any other national park; yet it receives no where near the same funding and as DC has no representation in the Senate, the Mall has no representation. The Mall quite is quite literally being forced to fight for its life.
The Trust for the National Mall has made some amazing strides, gaining much public attention and funding for the Mall's restoration. The Trust is working to improve the state of the Mall and plans to raise $500 million in about 5 years.
These are great efforts, but more is needed. The National Mall is DC's face, and DC is in much need of a face lift.
To get involved with the Trust for the National Mall, visit their website; nationalmall.org