John Deere donates $400K in equipment toward National Mall

September 27, 2013 -  By
John Deere donated $400,000 in equipment to the National Park Service to restore the National Mall. Photo: John Deere.

John Deere donated $400,000 in equipment to the National Park Service to restore the National Mall. Photo: John Deere.

Glance at the National Mall from an aerial view and one might notice a divide in the grounds—a lush greenery on the east side in front of the U.S. Capitol building and a lawn in need of a facelift on the west side in front of the Washington Monument.

That unbalance will soon come to an end.

John Deere donated $400,000 in equipment to the National Park Service (NPS) to maintain the restored areas of the National Mall (from 3rd and 7th Street) and to migrate that restoration west (from 7th to 10th Street). The renewal of the latter side of the mall will begin next week, at the start of the 2014 fiscal year.

In an early celebration of National Public Lands Day, John Deere personnel as well as representatives from the Trust for the National Mall and NPS gathered at the National Mall Sept. 27 to unveil the donation.

“We recognize as a company that public lands are the cornerstone of our society and they serve many people in many ways,” said Denver Caldwell, manager of turf marketing and marketing support for John Deere. “Through this donation we hope to ensure the National Mall will continue to thrive as an enduring green space for generations to come.”

Donated grounds care equipment includes:

  • Z925M Flex Fuel ZTrak mower;
  • Terrain Cut 8800 rotary mower with B20 biodiesel conversion kit;
  • 1565 front mower with biodiesel conversion kit and hard cab;
  • 4720 compact utility tractor with loader, backhoe and other Frontier attachments;
  • TX Turf Gator utility vehicle with deluxe cab;
  • Two ProGator 2030A utility vehicles and HD 300 SelectSpray Sprayer;
  • Aercore 800 and Aercore 2000;
  • TC125 materials collection system;
  • 1200A bunker rake; and
  • X739 lawn tractor, snow blower and other attachments.
John Deere equipment was used to restore the east end of the National Mall. Photo: John Deere.

John Deere equipment was used to restore the east end of the National Mall. Photo: John Deere.

John Deere’s partnership with the NPS, Caldwell said, has been in the works for around 10 months and goes hand-in-hand with the National Mall plan.

Instated in November 2010 the plan was set in place to revive and continually sustain the National Mall, making it functional for nearly 30 million visitors per year.

Caroline Cunningham, president of the Trust for the National Mall, added the space also hosts 3,000 permitted events annually.

“It sees a great deal of wear and tear,” she said of the Mall. “Frankly, the park has been loved to death.”

Prior to the National Mall plan it had been around 40 years since the space received renovations, said Jon Jarvis, NPS director.

Public-private partnerships, he said, have proven to be effective ways to restore the Mall, especially in rough economic times.

“‘The national parks reflect us at our best rather than our worst,’” Jarvis said, quoting Wallace Stegner. “If you look at the ground here it’s not reflecting us at our best right now. This national park needs to reflect this institution and this nation at its very best. … This kind of collaboration today is the key to our future.”

 

About the Author:

Former Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer is a West Coast-based contributing editor for Landscape Management.

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