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National Mall Overhaul Draws $10M Gift From VW

5:42 AM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Plans to overhaul neglected sites on the National Mall with lakeside gardens, grassy amphitheaters and restaurants with views of the nation's memorials are getting a boost from a German carmaker.

Volkswagen of America will announce a $10 million gift Thursday to the nonprofit Trust for the National Mall to jumpstart fundraising for the park at the heart of the nation's capital. It's the largest private gift to restore the most-visited national park.

The National Mall receives more visitors each year than Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone combined. But it wasn't designed for so many people. Visitors often find cracked sidewalks, dead grass and fetid pools of water.

Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning says he was shocked to see the poor conditions around the Jefferson Memorial.

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