Environmental Factors

National Mall and Memorial Parks manages approximately 1,000 acres of land throughout Washington, D.C., which includes the National Mall, East and West Potomac Parks, and numerous small, urban parks. Located in the Atlantic Coastal Plains and Piedmont geologic provinces, this terrain has been altered considerable since the days when Tiber Creek flowed through a riparian wetland (central DC) and the Potomac River edge extended to the current location of the Washington Monument grounds. National Mall and Memorial Parks is located within the greater context of a metropolitan area of 4.7 million people, and is immediately adjacent to the Potomac River, a major tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. This portion of the Potomac is brackish and tidal, with water elevations of 3.5 feet at high tide. With its vast swath of filled land, a highly landscaped character, and extremely high visitation (25 million annual visits), there are numerous anthropogenic and natural forces that affect the park.

Through the park's environmental management system and use of best management practices, the park strives to monitor and prevent air and water pollution and erosion, to reduce energy and waste, to conserve water, and to increase opportunities for employees and visitors to use alternative transportation. In addition, the National Mall and Memorial Parks is actively reducing direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions across the park- check out our Climate Action Plan to see how.

Public input is an important part of environmental planning at the park. See the National Park Service's Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website for projects currently open for public comment.

Are you interested in helping to green the National Mall? We can't meet our goals for a sustainable park without help from visitors and volunteers. See National Mall and Memorial Parks "Support Your Park" for more information about how to get involved.


Last updated: September 23, 2016

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