- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 2, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service is circulating a long-term draft plan to restore the National Mall’s grounds and facilities, accepting public comment until March.

After a three-year process, the 600-page document offers several options to improve the mall’s bathrooms, food and entertainment facilities, as well as its grounds and areas heavily used for protests and events.

Some proposals call for removing or shrinking the Capitol Reflecting Pool to create a civic square for demonstrations.

Other options call for creating a cafe and entertainment space in Constitution Gardens and reengineering the reflecting pools to use a natural water source, rather than city water.

Walkways, grass and landscaping would be improved for the mall’s 25 million annual visitors.

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