After opening his commercial real estate firm in the nation’s capital in 1974, John “Chip” Akridge developed more than 11 million square feet of office space. Disturbed by the increasingly degraded state of the National Mall, Akridge established the nonprofit Trust for the National Mall in 2007 to assist the National Park Service in its maintenance of this heavily used public space (more than 25 million annual visits). He donated $250,000 of his own money to start the project and helped raise millions more. In addition to helping with immediate needs, the Trust sparked a new National Mall Plan which details ambitious improvements that will take place over a period of decades. Trust chairman Akridge announced a $350 million private fundraising effort to pay for these renovations of the nation’s front yard, and donated the first $1 million himself in 2012.
- Trust for the National Mall mission, nationalmall.org/about-trust/mission