How would you like to see your ideas go down in history? If you're good at making parks and open spaces more welcoming and fun for the public to use, you might have a shot at it.

Registration has recently opened for a national ideas competition for the Washington Monument grounds.

According to the competition website, "The purpose of the National Ideas Competition for the Washington Monument Grounds is to encourage Americans of all ages to develop innovative and creative ideas for making the Washington Monument grounds more welcoming, educational and effectively used by the public. The idea for this competition came out of a realization that while the Washington Monument is the defining feature of the Washington, D.C., skyline and the centerpiece of the National Mall, at ground level its vast open space remains unfinished and underutilized."

So why is it an "ideas" competition and not a "design" competition? Because it's your ideas that will be evaluated for their quality, thoughtfulness and creativity — not your design skills. You can explain your idea in words or in a combination of words and pictures, however you communicate best. And if your idea makes it to the final rounds of the competition, you'll have access to free expert design and technical assistance to help your idea take shape.

Submissions are welcome from anyone 12 and older. Anyone, that is, except professional design firms. Teams of up to 10 individuals may also participate by listing individual names and designating one individual as the team leader. 

Check out the National Ideas Competition website for the rules, dates and deadlines.  

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