Lady Bird Johnson Park and Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove

Lady Bird Johnson Park and Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove photo
Michael O'Sullivan - The Washington post
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Editorial Review

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial, a sculptured piece of granite with some of the president's less colorful quotes, is set in a grove of trees and 15 acres of gardens along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the less pleasant Boundary Channel waterfront, an inlet off the Potomac River.

The memorial is a part of the larger Lady Bird Johnson Park, a tribute to the former first lady's role in beautifying the country's and Washington, D.C.'s landscape. In spring, visitors can stroll among more than 1 million daffodils and 11,000 red tulips, planted in formal beds.

The park also contains the Navy and Marine Memorial.

The park is located on Columbia Island, and has a very small parking lot accessible from the northbound lanes of George Washington Memorial Parkway between Memorial Bridge and the 14th Street Bridge. From the parkway, take the Boundary Channel Drive exit. Turn right and follow the signs to the parking lot. Because the parking lot is small, it is best to park at the Pentagon parking lot and walk over, or to take Metro to the Arlington Cemetery station and walk along the Mount Vernon trail. Although its accessibility is from the Virginia side of the Potomac River, the island is owned by the District.

Former Post staff writer Sarah Booth Conroy wrote:

"Lady Bird Johnson's beautification program during her White House years lives on, bringing glory to Washington every spring.

Few, if any, first ladies have lived in Washington as long as Lady Bird Johnson, or been as greatly appreciated. She moved between the worlds of Washington and Texas from the time she married in 1934.

When she moved into the White House in 1963, Mrs. Johnson brought with her her Western love affair with wildflowers and her Southern sensibilities of the responsibility of a great lady. She took up the task of bringing beauty to Washington, planting flowers everywhere from on the White House china to small triangles in less prepossessing areas of the city.

She began her project because, she said, "As we traveled, I saw the proud look of capitals like Switzerland's, and I thought flowers were like lipstick to a woman."

She said that her Committee for a More Beautiful National Capital hoped that it would have a ripple effect, spreading to everyone's front yards. It did."