Washington DC is filled with hundreds of memorials, monuments, and commemorative sites that often cannot all be seen in one short trip. This leads to visitors hitting up the most popular tourist destinations such as the Washington Monument and the White House, but if one was to see those two sites back to back, chances are they walked through a lesser known site… the German American Friendship Garden.
Established in 1988 by President Reagan as part of the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of German immigration to the United States, the German American Friendship Garden acts “as a symbol of the friendship between our two countries” and is home to a selection of plants and trees known to thrive in the climates of both countries. The garden is located between the White House and the Washington Monument and sees roughly 7 million visitors pass through every year.
Gardens need a large amount of maintenance to keep them looking good, so last week it was announced that a new restoration project is underway on the German American Friendship Garden with the activation of “a dedicated $100,000 trust fund in the National Park Foundation whose future income is intended for the upkeep of the Garden.”
The German Embassy is also contributing approximately $30,000 to the project, and part of the goal is to gain better awareness of the garden. The German American Friendship Garden is currently recognized on the official map of sites in the nation’s capital, but popular guidebooks used by tourists often fail to include the symbolic site.
In President Reagen’s speech during the formal dedication, he referred to the garden as a symbol of the strong bond that exists between the United States and Germany, and “In its growth, our own commitments to the wellbeing of America and Germany shall be cultivated and nurtured.”
Photo by John Phelan