Non-Profit Links Area Landscape Contractor Volunteers in Support of Mall and Memorial Parks, German Embassy and DC Landscape Architects to Revitalize an Historic Landscape
Washington, DC – (November 13, 2013) – As part of a pilot program for a developing partnership with the National Park Service, Project EverGreen, a non-profit green industry foundation, has coordinated with Ruppert Nurseries, a leading area contractor, to donate their crews and equipment to provide a pro bono landscaping re
The new garden plantings include varieties of over 2,000 shrubs, plants and trees, native to both countries, whose procurement was supported by the German Embassy. The German-American Friendship Garden landscaping renewal will be installenewal installation for the German-American Friendship Garden at the National Mall and Memorial Parks, in Washington, DC.
d primarily on November 14th and 15th by the National Park Service and Ruppert Nurseries and be attended onsite by the German Ambassador, Dr. Peter Ammon, and Bob Vogel, National Mall Superintendent. The installation is based on a design
by Oehme van Sweden Landscape Architecture, who also sourced the Country Springs nursery stock plants, and will support the restoration onsite in an advisory capacity. “Existing plants will be reshaped, an irrigation system replaced, and a large variety of new flowers and bushes planted,” according to Lisa Delplace of Oehme van Sweden.
The German-American Friendship Garden commemorates the October 6, 1683 arrival of the first organized group of German immigrants, who purchased land from William Penn and established the village of Germantown, in Philadelphia. The garden is located on a direct sight line between the White House and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and is the only other feature on the Washington Monument grounds. It was dedicated by President Ronald Reagan and Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1988. Twenty-five years later, in April of 2013, German Ambassador Dr. Peter
Ammon signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Park Service, the Association of German-American Societies of Greater Washington D.C., and the Germ
In late September, Robin Nixon, Chief of Partnerships at the National Mall and Memorial Parks, invited Project Evergreen to help complete the German-American Friendship Garden plantings renovation within a few days’ schedule. Cindy Code, Project Evergreen’s executive director, reached out to Chris Davitt, president of Ruppert Nurseries, a Maryland-based contractor. Over a weekend, Chris arranged with Jeff Gowen, National Mall landscape architect, to donate crew labor, equipment and organic material to ensure meeting the planting schedule and adhering to the design plan.an-American Heritage Foundation of the USA for the renewal of the German-American Friendship Garden. Ambassador Ammon is a faithful supporter of the garden’s ongoing care and well-being, He has expressed the symbolic meaning of the original design of the garden, stating, “Using only plants that exist in both Germany and the United States, highlights the common elements and traditions in our cultures and stands for our unity.”
The GAFG renovation volunteers are noteworthy, insofar as Chris Davitt at Ruppert Nurseries, had also worked on the installation of the original GAFG grounds 25 years ago (circa 1988) in concert with the same architects, Oehme van Sweden, who designed the original and current garden revitalization plans. The confluence of Project EverGreen coordinating Ruppert Nursery’s professional engagement to assist the National Mall & Memorial Parks, the German Embassy and Oehme van Sweden on this community enhancement is an excellent example of private, public and non-profit partnership. Bob Vogel, Superintendent at the National Mall & Memorial Parks, describes the participants’ efforts to organize their resources to expedite the German-American Friendship Garden renewal
as “fantastic, an ideal example of collaboration among diverse public and private organizations, as well as of German-American friendship and cooperation .”
About Project EverGreen
Project EverGreen’s mission is to preserve and enhance green spaces in our communities where we live, work and play. Project EverGreen is a national non-profit organization that promotes the environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of green spaces through hands-on revitalization projects, proactive public relations and consumer education. As part of that educational mission, Project EverGreen points to numerous environmental research studies showing that a lush, green park or lawn is more than just pleasing to the eye. For example:
- A single tree can remove enough carbon dioxide annually to equal 11,000 miles of car emissions.
- Lawns are 30°F cooler than asphalt and 14°F cooler than bare soil in the heat of summer.
- Turf improves water quality by storing and filtering the water that would otherwise go into catch-basins and lakes.
- The natural absorption processes of trees and shrubs remove smoke, dust and other pollutants from the air.
For more information, visit www.projectevergreen.org.
Project EverGreen Contacts:
Michael Joyce, National Projects Manager, Project EverGreen
Cindy Code, Executive Director, Project EverGreen
Office: 440.290.4521 Mobile: 440.463.6445
Dan Jacobs, National Communications Manager, Project EverGreen
Office: (877) 758-4835 Mobile: (216) 577-7292