Image: Sam Kittner
The Tidal Basin holds a storied place in the national imagination, but its future is under threat. Your input is essential to the Ideas Lab process. Together, we can produce visionary world-class solutions, build consensus, generate public awareness, and reimagine what the Tidal Basin can be.
The Ideas Lab Key Themes booklet evaluates four common areas of focus that emerged from the Ideas Lab proposals. They are presented here to inspire discussion with the National Park Service, stakeholders, and the public to support a long-term vision that addresses the myriad challenges to the Tidal Basin.
The Ideas Lab Public Feedback booklet captures more than 1000 participants responses over four months to surveys on the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab website. Presented through personal accounts and infographics, the booklet provides a snapshot of public reaction to the designs and offers commentary on the visitor experience. Surveys remain open and will be continuously collected. If you haven’t done so already, complete the surveys below.
Share your thoughts and stories here or on social media using the hashtag #SaveTheTidalBasin.
The memory of its original design when I viewed it in the early 1970s, is why this place remains special to me and why I'd like the Basin's overall form to remain a gesture to it's history.
I was born in Tokyo when cherry trees were in blossom in 1938
Growing up in Maryland, the Cherry Blossom is a symbol of peace, friendship and hope. I will get up early for the sunrise and sunset to capture the golden hour when the sun peers over the blossoms. Its breathtaking.
The tidal basin is one of my favorite places in all of DC. It is the place where I walked to after I got an offer for a permanent job to stay in the city. It is my favorite loop to run. I've ran here many mornings and love the quiet peacefulness early in the morning before too many people get there. I loved walking my dog, who's no longer with us here- he would always bark at the statue of FDR's dog. I love playing Pokémon go here too and have spect many afternoons with friends here. The only good painting I've ever done was of the tidal basin and I have it hanging in my bedroom. I love every part of the tidal basin and would be devastated if we could no longer access it.
The beautiful cherry trees and their story should remain unchanged. If improvements are needed, they should be done without changing the landscape.
My husband and I became engaged at the Tidal Basin under a cherry tree near the Jefferson Memorial. We've shown it to our children and go back to "our" tree from time to time.
Back in 2001 before I left the D.C. area I took a day and went down to the Tidal Basin and photographed the cherry blossoms in both color and black and white. On my wall today are some of those framed photos. I spent a good deal of time just walking around, visiting the Jefferson Memorial because I wasn't sure when I would be returning to the area. It always brought me peace and I noticed that most people who visit there are quiet and just enjoying the space. You really don't feel you are near the modern world until a plane flies over.
The Tidal Basin was often a gathering and walking spot- particularly, at Easter when the Cherry Blossoms are in bloom. One of my favorite memories is visiting there with cousins visiting for the Valley Forge area of Pennsylvania. (See photo)
It holds a huge place in our collective history. I grrew up in D.C. and the memories are pricelesss. The layout must be preserved in its'original form.
As a kid, growing up in D.C., the Tidal Basin was always a place to go to enjoy yourself and take a paddle boat around the area. It should be saved for the next generation.
I've never actually been to Washington DC for a tourist visit. I did go there for a peaceful march in support of the ERA amendment. One of my daughters went with me in a chartered bus from Gainesville, Florida. We only had the day but it was wonderful. The cherry trees were in bull bloom and a picture of us by the trees is a treasured memory. I'm glad to see climate change being adressed in a serious way would support the efforts to preserve the basin with a new innovative design. I'm 80 years old so I wouldn't see the completed design, but life is ongoing so future generations will.
As you medtioned, the Tidal Basin is a wonderful scenic area that focuses on the overall beauty of Washington, D.C. With it's surrounding historic structures, every effort should be made to enhance and preserve it for posterity!
When I lived in Washington DC for four years during the late 60s and early 70s because of lack of transportation I had only one chance to see the cherry trees in bloom. With friends we walked at night underneath the trees which spread above us in a pink wonder. The petals have begun to fall and I felt as though I were in A gentle pink snowstorm, Forming a pink carpet underfoot. It was one of the most Magical moments of my life. What a pity the future generations were unable to experience what I did over 50 years ago around the Tidal Basin.
I'm currently employed as a tour conductor in D.C. I've seen people's responses to it; a constant parade of awe and wonder. But the flooding impacts thier experience, and the lighting schemes impact thier experience on dark days and at night. I was most impressed by the JCFO and R-H presentations. But what ALL of them lacked was a way to address accessibility. Parking in the area's currently horrendous, and all of these proposals eradicate the drive around the tidal basin AND Independence Avenue. Unless there's light rail access, or a parking garage nearby, I see this area becoming less visited. I also see these designs being resisted by Virginia commuters. I'm a Virginian, and crossing teh river's already bad enough. Feeding Memorial Bridge traffic into Constitution, and I-66 traffic, would probably increase the daily commute headache on both feeders. Finally, I'm not sure that the designs that proposed turning the tidal basin into a wetland take into account how shallow that area was prior to engineering, or how many people are likely to stray into it once it's open. The Park Service's alreayd driven nuts every Cherry Blossom season trying to keep people off of the trees; I think that creating a "natural" tidal area would create a lot of social/law enforcement headaches. That's my initial response. Hopefully, there's something helpful in there.
We regularly walk the Tidal Basin when we are in DC. We've been seeing the Cherry Blossoms every year since my daughter was born, I can't imagine losing this tradition.
It's an experience you could never replace if lost.
I am a runner, and one of my favorite places to run in DC is around the Tidal Basin. Unfortunately, running around the Tidal Basin can be a obstacle course at best- dodging pedestrians, low hanging tree branches, mud, and large puddles that flood the concrete path - and completely impassable at worst. I have taken to running through the FDR memorial because the Tidal Basin walkway is frankly too dangerous. I want to #SaveTheTidalBasin to preserve this national landmark for local runners like myself and generations to come.
In July 2018, my wife and I got engaged under a tree at the Tidal Basin.
I love walking around the Tidal Basin to view the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and MLK Memorials. If we don’t do something about the Tidal Basin’s flooding, I fear memorials like these won’t be accessible for future generations.
It would be devastating if we lost the Cherry Trees to the increased flooding that’s happening at the Tidal Basin. It’s something I hope can be fixed soon! The Cherry Trees have been on the National Mall for years and they’re such a tradition for many people, including for me and my family, to walk around at peak bloom.
The Tidal Basin because it’s a beautiful spot to walk around and get out of the busy city for a moment. I’ve seen how the flooding prevents people from fully enjoying the waterfront, especially around the Jefferson Memorial and I think these repairs will go a long way for people to fully enjoy the Tidal Basin loop.
I want to save the Tidal Basin because it’s home to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the MLK Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, which are all so important to our nation’s history.
It’s a lot of fun to bike ride and walk around the National Mall. I come from Pentagon City which takes me to the Jefferson Memorial. It’s great there are some roads between the park to get around but sometimes I can’t get close to the view of the Tidal Basin due to its flooding. I think it’s incredible if we can fix its infrastructure.
It’s impossible not to see the damage to areas around the Tidal Basin due to flooding and the increasing number of visitors during Cherry blossom season.
My friends and I came to see the cherry blossoms bloom each spring when we were in college. Now we’re all moved away from DC but I can’t picture the city without its famous cherry trees! It’s not just a tourist attraction but a local favorite. I swear I could smell the cherry blossoms all over the city in springtime.
I’ve lived in DC for over a decade and love seeing the cherry blossoms bloom! Lately the grass around the Tidal Basin has become mud and the tree roots are exposed to visitors trampling them. It’s terrible the damage that’s been happening to these historic trees, saving the Tidal Basin means saving the Cherry Trees.
The cherry blossoms along the National Mall Tidal Basin are undeniably gorgeous, but the mud and water on the pathways - a result of daily flooding due to deferred maintenance and sea level rise - are not. In addition to not looking great, they also compromise the roots of the famed cherry trees.