Memorial Plaque Policy

Purpose

The purpose of the Memorial Plaque policy is to provide the public with an opportunity to recognize exceptional individuals who have made a significant public service contribution to Arlington County and its residents. This policy does not recognize financial contributions.

This policy applies to the installation of Memorial Plaques in County owned park locations, which must be approved by the Park and Recreation Commission with final approval from the Arlington County Board. Memorial Plaques installed prior to the adoption of this policy shall be subject to applicable sections relating to maintenance and plaque relocation.

Policy Goals

  1. To provide the public with an opportunity to recognize deceased individuals who made significant and sustained public service contributions to Arlington County during their lifetimes.
  2. To ensure that memorial plaques are placed in a manner that does not encumber the public use of County parkland.

Memorial or Recognition Plaque Criteria

  1. An individual must have been deceased for at least one year before a Memorial Plaque can be erected in his or her honor. An individual interested in placing a Memorial Plaque on a County facility or County owned park may begin the review process during this initial year-long period.
  2. The applicant must demonstrate the significance of the nominee’s public service contribution. The contribution must have been sustained, not a single act, and must have had a lasting impact on the Arlington community.

General Terms

  1. The applicant is responsible for all costs to fabricate and install the plaque. The County will manage fabrication and installation in coordination with the applicant. Fabrication and installation costs will vary depending on the design and location of the plaque. Payment must be processed prior to application approval. Refer to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Collaboration and Donation Policy for ways to recognize financial contributions. Approved by the Arlington County Board on 12-17-2017.
  2. DPR will design the plaque in consultation with the applicant. The plaque can be no larger than 12 x 12 inches; and the inscription cannot include logos or web addresses. DPR will have final approval of all elements of the plaque.
  3. DPR must approve the plaque location, and the plaque must be mounted to a stable surface that is accessible for periodic maintenance. Plaques cannot be mounted to trees, shrubs, or other planted landscaping.
  4.  If the application is approved by the County Board, then the applicant should expect installation approximately six months from the date of approval. If installation will take longer than six months due to, for example, location constraints or elaborate mounting, then the applicant will be notified and given an updated estimate for completion.
  5. DPR may relocate the plaque to a location of its choosing at any time and will make every effort to contact the applicant to discuss alternative locations. The applicant is responsible for maintaining updated contact information with DPR.
  6. If the plaque is vandalized or damaged during the first ten years, DPR will repair or replace the plaque. After ten years, the applicant is responsible for all costs related to repair or replacement and must contact the DPR program liaison to coordinate replacement efforts and costs.
  7. Applicants may not request through this policy to name a County facility in the nominee’s honor.

Memorial or Recognition Plaque Design

Please refer to the Memorial Plaque template featured in the online Memorial Plaque
form.

  1. Material: Bronze
  2. Shape and Size: No larger than 12 inches by 12 inches.
  3. Thickness: 0.25 inches
  4. Text Font: Times Standard, Semi Bold
  5. Text Size: Will vary depending on the amount of text and size of the plaque.
  6. Background: Leatherette with Brushed Surface; 2025 Black Painted
  7. Mount: Will vary depending on location.

Application Process

  1. The applicant may access the Memorial Plaque Policy and application on the
    County’s website.
  2. An appropriate level of community support must be demonstrated; please submit
    one of the following:
    1. Approval/endorsement by the local civic/neighborhood association; or
    2. Three signatures of Arlington County residents; or
    3. Endorsement by other community or civic organizations.
  3. DPR staff, including the program liaison and Park Area Managers, among others, will review the application. The DPR program liaison may request a meeting at the proposed plaque location or at the County’s offices to discuss the plaque design, inscription, location, and materials necessary for mounting. After this meeting, DPR will provide the applicant a cost estimate to cover the plaque fabrication and installation costs. Payment for estimated costs must be submitted before the review process can proceed.
  4. The DPR program liaison will present the application and plaque design to the Park and Recreation Commission for consideration. The applicant, or a designee, must attend this meeting to help answer questions from the Commission. If the Commission determines that the application meets the criteria and warrants further review, then the DPR program liaison will seek comment from other organizations, as needed, during the organizations’ regular public meetings.
  5. The DPR program liaison will present the application and plaque design to the Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) for consideration. The applicant, or a designee, must attend this meeting to help answer questions.
  6. The DPR program liaison may also seek input, when appropriate, from the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC), the appropriate neighborhood Civic Association(s), and the Arlington Beautification Committee.
  7. The DPR program liaison will summarize the input received from various advisory groups and commissions and present the summary to the Commission at its next public meeting for consideration and approval. The applicant, or a designee, must attend this meeting to help answer questions from the Commission.
  8. The DPR program liaison will present the application to the County Board for final approval. The County Manager will also present a separate recommendation to the County Board that takes into account the recommendation from the Commission. If the matter is added to the Consent Agenda, then the applicant does not need to attend the County Board meeting as there will be no questions to answer. Otherwise, the applicant will need to attend the Board Meeting.
  9. If the application is approved by the County Board, then the DPR program liaison will notify the applicant of next steps.

To print the policy, click here(PDF, 63KB).