A petition already has over 54,000 signatures.

Olivia Harvey
Apr 30, 2021 @ 12:26 pm
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Jill Biden
Credit: ANNA MONEYMAKER/POOL/AFP, Getty Images

Shortly before the November 2020 election, former first lady Melania Trump decided to redesign the White House Rose Garden, which, many argued after the fact, didn't need any redesigning whatsoever—especially a redesign devoid of garden. Trump wiped out all the colorful roses and other flowers and chopped down the 10 crabapple trees Jackie Kennedy planted in 1961 and replaced them with shrubs...and that's it. Now a petition is making the rounds to demand that first lady Dr. Jill Biden restore the rose garden to its former glory.

"In 1961, President and Mrs. Kennedy had just returned from a state visit to France, followed by stops in England and Austria. The President had noted that the White House had no garden equal in quality or attractiveness to the gardens that he had seen and in which he had been entertained in Europe," the Change.org petition to Dr. Jill Biden reads.

Working with Rachel Lambert Mellon, the Kennedys planted perennials, annuals, and herbs amongst the roses, along with pruned boxwood hedges and magnolia trees flanking either end of the space. It was a massive improvement from the original "Colonial-style" garden first planted by first lady Ellen Woodrow in 1913. However, Trump believed the garden needed to be tweaked to "fulfill the dynamic needs of the modern presidency," according to CNN, which includes updated audio and visual features, as well as new lighting and easier access for filming.

During the Trump Administration, the rose garden was used as a socially distanced-friendly press conference site during the COVID-19 pandemic and all renovations were paid for by private donations.

"In 2019, Melania Trump had the cherry trees, a gift from Japan, removed as well as the rest of the foliage and replaced with a boring tribute to herself," the petition continues. "Jackie's legacy was ripped away from Americans who remembered all that the Kennedy's meant to us. We want Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff to take this on and restore the Rose Garden to Jackie's original design."

As of today, April 30th, the petition has over 54,000 signatures out of a goal of 75,000. If you'd like to see Jackie Kennedy's design restored by Dr. Jill Biden, you can add your name to the list here.