The United States is now in the final stretch of its exceptionally long, extremely strange 2016 presidential election. While there is great national anxiety surrounding who will next inhabit the White House, one can take some comfort in knowing that the White House Kitchen Garden is here to stay. While the Garden’s original iteration was rustic in style, the First Lady unveiled a new design that includes cement, stone and steel features that will be difficult to remove without causing controversy.
Founded by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2009, the White House Kitchen Garden has provided organic produce for the First Family and served as an inspiring symbol of the still-growing Food Movement. Although the White House Garden has avoided the harsh criticism that Republicans have directed towards the First Lady’s school nutrition reforms, it is not without controversy. Within days of the garden’s inauguration, the pesticide industry wrote to the White House to advocate against the garden’s use of organic farming techniques.
The National Park Service will continue to maintain the Garden in Obama’s absence while millions of dollars in private funding will help to pay for it. While neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton have commented on what they would do with the garden, its new design makes a total demolition much less likely. Wood chip paths have been replaced with a widened walkway made from blue stone while a new cemented archway and stone-paved seating area welcome visitors into the garden.
“I take great pride in knowing that this little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes and dreams we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children,” said Michelle Obama at a formal dedication of the new and improved garden. “I am hopeful that future first families will cherish this garden like we have.”