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Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove
George Washington Memorial Parkway
Washington, DC  20037
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The Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac is a living memorial to the 36th President
Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson in 1972

Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson in 1972

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac is a 17-acre park nestled within Lady Bird Johnson Park, named after his wife, on Columbia Island. It serves to honor the memory of the 36th President and his accomplishments, particularly with regard to environmental protection. The park is located on the Virginia side of the Potomac River across from the National Mall with the George Washington Memorial Parkway running through it. Planning and fund raising for the memorial began not long after his death in 1973, and the park was dedicated on April 6, 1976 at a ceremony attended by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and President Gerald R. Ford, where he gave these remarks.

Features of the Memorial Grove

Designed by landscape architect Meade Palmer, the grove features winding paths lined with hundreds of white pine and dogwood trees that tower over an understory of azaleas and rhododendrons. Thousands of bulbs bloom in the spring, and pine needles blanket the forest floor in the fall.

LBJ Memorial Grove

Tree-lined path at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove

The path leads to a small granite plaza with a 19-foot monolith at the center, made of sunset red granite quarried just 35 miles from Johnson’s ranch in Texas. The tall, rough cut, sturdy stone, sculpted by Harold Vogel, was intended to symbolize Johnson’s personality. At the base of the monolith are four stone tablets engraved with quotes from Johnson on the environment, education, civil rights and the presidency. Each August, friends and family gather here to celebrate his birthday. Here’s the video from the 2021 celebration.

Stone Memorial at LBJ Memorial Grove

Stone monolith at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove across the Potomac River from the National Mall

LBJ Quote at the Memorial Grove

LBJ quote engraved in stone at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove

Looking beyond the monolith, one can see why the former first lady chose this spot to memorialize her husband. The Johnsons would often stop here for quiet reflection before returning to the stressful Capital city on the other side of the Potomac River. Lady Bird Johnson Park, on which the Memorial Grove is located, was named after her in 1968 to honor her city beautification efforts while First Lady. The site offers a panoramic view of the major monuments on the National Mall – the Washington Monument, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol.

View to the National Mall

View of the monuments on the National Mall from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove

Things to Do

The tree-lined Memorial Grove provides shade and respite from the Washington, DC summer heat. Enjoy hiking, jogging or biking on the short trails and stop to rest on a bench or at a picnic table. Watch for wildlife in the trees or on the water. Stop at the stone plaza to honor President Johnson while viewing the monuments across the Potomac dedicated to the presidents that came before him. Continue your hike onto the Mount Vernon Trail, an 18-mile paved footpath that stretches along the river from Theodore Roosevelt Island all the way down to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. When exiting the Memorial Grove, your first stop on the Mount Vernon Trail will be the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial honoring service members who perished at sea. Other nearby sites include the Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and Pentagon City shopping and dining, Theodore Roosevelt Island, and the Columbia Island Marina.

Access into the park is free. Both the LBJ Memorial Grove and Lady Bird Johnson Park are managed by the National Park Service as part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway site.

Getting There

Though it technically located in Washington, DC, the LBJ Memorial Grove and Lady Bird Johnson Park are accessed on the Virginia side of the border. If arriving by car, there are two free nearby parking lots. You can either park at the Boundary Channel, then cross a wooden footbridge to access the park. Or, exit the George Washington Memorial Parkway inside Lady Bird Johnson Park and find the parking lot at the Columbia Island Marina. See the park page for specific directions. Pay close attention to the direction of the exits off the Parkway in this part of town because some only exit in one direction.

LBJ Memorial Grove Footbridge

Wooden footbridge crossing the Boundary Channel onto the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove

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