- First lady Melania Trump will lead a renovation of the White House Rose Garden, the White House announced Monday.
- Changes will include electrical upgrades, improvements for television appearances, and new flowers and shrubs, The New York Times first reported.
- The renovation will return the Rose Garden to its 1962 footprint and improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the White House said.
- The White House did not detail the cost of the renovation, though it said it was privately funded and would take about three weeks to complete, according to The Times.
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The White House on Monday announced that first lady Melania Trump would lead a renovation of the White House Rose Garden, implementing a host of changes that should also make the garden more suitable for television.
Some of the plans include electrical upgrades for TV appearances, a new walkway, and new flowers and shrubs, The New York Times first reported.
“The very act of planting a garden involves hard work and hope in the possibility of a bright future,” the first lady said in a statement Monday. “Preserving the history and beauty of the White House and its grounds is a testament to our nation’s commitment to the care of this landscape and our dedication to American ideals, safeguarding them for our children and their children for generations to come.”
According to a Monday press release from the White House, the changes will return the Rose Garden to its 1962 footprint.
The garden first began when first lady Ellen Wilson planted roses in 1913, the White House said in its report. It was notably renovated in 1962 during the Kennedy administration and designed by the horticulturist Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon.
The 2020 renovation will provide better drainage and create “a healthier environment for plantings that reduce the risk of leaf blight,” the White House said. It will include new limestone walkways, replace crab-apple trees with white-rose shrubs, and add new light-pink roses, The Times reported.
The plans also include changes to improve the garden’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the White House.
Trump has used the Rose Garden as his preferred venue to announce policy decisions and address the media
This year, the president has used the Rose Garden to deliver remarks and updates related to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s also used the space to attack his political opponents.
In June, Trump appeared in the Rose Garden before reporters amid Black Lives Matter protests and threatened to deploy the US military if local leaders didn’t quash demonstrations. Before his remarks, the US Park Police used teargas to clear peaceful protesters from outside the White House so he could walk to a nearby church for a photo op.
The first lady’s initiative comes late in her husband’s first term — just about four months before voters will decide whether to give him another four years in office or replace him with the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Since 2018, the first lady’s main effort has been Be Best, her broad program meant to curb bullying. Her work in the Rose Garden is part of her position as honorary chair of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
The White House report did not detail cost estimates for the Rose Garden renovation, though it said it would be funded through private donations and take about three weeks to complete, The Times reported.
- Read more:
- Melania Trump plans to renovate the Rose Garden. See the other changes the first lady has made to the White House.
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