2017 Annual Appeal


The National Mall Needs Your Support…

December 20, 2017

Dear Friends of the National Mall,

Our National Mall, the stage for American democracy, is experiencing unprecedented demand for space and the necessary permits for demonstrations, protests, celebrations, and other events reflecting the current state of affairs in our nation’s capital. These events are on top of the 25 million or so visitors each year who come to the Mall to see world-class museums and monuments to America’s history and to take advantage of recreational opportunities. This means more use, more maintenance, more security, and a much greater need for public education, orientation, and amenities to accommodate the crowds.

Over the past year, the National Mall Coalition has continued to inform the public, advocate for policies that support public use and recreation, and advance the call for a new comprehensive plan that would bring together the many agencies, institutions, and interests that have a say in what happens on the Mall but don’t coordinate or communicate very well about their intentions. The last such plan, the McMillan Plan, dates to 1901. Surely, it’s time for an update! Proposals for new museums and monuments continue unabated. Where is there space? Where will they be sited?

Even more worrisome, the Mall faces potentially serious flooding. In 2006, three days of heavy rain inundated Smithsonian museums, the National Archives, and federal buildings along Constitution Avenue, causing millions of dollars in damage and forcing government facilities to close for several days. The federal government and the District of Columbia know full well about the continuing danger but progress in addressing the threat has been slow.

Our solution? The proposed National Mall Underground is intended to fill a host of longstanding needs including flood control, tour bus and other parking, and visitor amenities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing the project’s feasibility in cooperation with the Coalition, which has financed the study under a recent law that encourages such partnerships.

To continue this work, we urgently need your support. I hope once again you can help us with a tax-deductible contribution.  As you can see from our priorities, we have redoubled our efforts this year to advance innovative ideas and expand public education and outreach. We just printed a new edition of our popular map, The National Mall: Stage for Our Democracy.  Since 2005, we’ve distributed over 250,000 of these free at area airports and visitor centers as demand continues to grow.

Please contribute to help us continue to educate, advocate, and foster innovative solutions to ensure the vitality of the Mall as a living symbol of our nation’s evolving story. Please consider giving $50, $100, whatever you can.

For donations of $250 or more, we will be pleased to send you Called to the Mall: Stories About the National Mall, a collection of essays edited by Louise Parker Kelley, written by students at the Shining Stars Montessori Academy Public Charter School of Washington, D.C., who share their experiences on the Mall.

Thank you in advance.


Judy Scott Feldman, PhD, Chair




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