To preserve and care for the White House Kitchen Garden into the future, the Burpee Foundation and the W. Atlee Burpee Company generously provided support to the National Park Foundation. With a $2.5 million donation.
First Lady Michelle Obama dedicated the White House Kitchen Garden, unveiling numerous updates and announcing how the garden will be preserved into the future.
"This garden represents the transformational change we've seen in just the past six and a half years, as well as our collective hopes for growing a healthier nation for our children," said First Lady Michelle Obama.
According to George Ball, chairman and CEO of the 140 year old Pennsylvania based Burpee, establishment of a formal vegetable garden at The White House resurrects a tradition that goes back to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. "As America's leading home gardening company we recognize the importance of continuing The White House Kitchen Garden and developing its educational activities in support of The White House initiative."
The gift will be made to the National Park Foundation (NPF) to cover direct costs to expand and maintain the Garden. The donation is a long-term commitment to the preservation of the White House Kitchen Garden.
With the planting of the White House Kitchen Garden in 2009, the First Lady started a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our country that evolved into her Let's Move! initiative in February 2010. Let's Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest years; giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices; providing healthier foods in our schools; ensuring families have access to healthy, affordable food; and, increasing physical activity.
Over the course of the Obama Administration, the White House Kitchen Garden has supplied fruits and vegetables to the First Family, guests at White House events, such as State Dinners, and for those in need in the local community. The First Lady has invited students from across the country to help in planting and harvesting the garden, and continuous improvements have been made to the garden since its inception. In 2014, a pollinator garden was planted to provide habitat for bees, butterflies, and birds as part of the Administration's efforts to promote pollinator health. The garden has also grown in size, and with these latest changes, it now spans approximately 2,800 square feet.