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The Eleanor Roosevelt Fruit & Vegetable Garden honors a truly groundbreaking First Lady

From our earliest days of planning, we always knew we wanted to have a Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the future Obama Presidential Center.

Mrs. Obama announces the Eleanor Roosevelt Fruit & Vegetable Garden

This living, growing, vibrant space will continue the work Mrs. Obama first started at the White House—where the Kitchen Garden she planted on the South Lawn sparked a national conversation about the food we eat and how to create healthier lives for families.

First lady, Michelle Obama kneels down while sniffing a plant in a garden while a young girl with a light skin tone kneels in front of her

But Mrs. Obama’s garden wasn’t the first to appear at the White House. Decades earlier, Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden during World War II as a symbol to encourage families to grow their own food in support of the war effort.

It’s just one of the many examples of how Mrs. Roosevelt truly understood the magnitude of her platform. Redefining the role of first lady, she was an activist, journalist, teacher, diplomat, and policymaker. As an outspoken and progressive champion of women’s and civil rights, Mrs. Roosevelt even became the architect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

A black and white photo of an older woman with a light skin tone stands grinning in front of multiple posters that read: “Votes For Women”

That’s why we’re so thrilled to announce that the Fruit & Vegetable Garden at the Obama Presidential Center will be named after Eleanor Roosevelt. Thanks to the generosity of Obama Foundation board member Connie Ballmer and her husband Steven Ballmer, this honoree naming will forever link the legacies of two groundbreaking First Ladies.

An animation shows people ranging of all ages and skin tones, enjoying the Obama Presidential Center

A rendering of the Eleanor Roosevelt Fruit & Vegetable Garden, which will be located on the roof of the Library.

With accessible planting beds, a picnic area, and a Garden Classroom & Teaching Kitchen for hands-on workshops, the Garden will be a warm, welcoming, thriving space where the seeds first planted on the South Lawn will continue to grow.

We can’t wait for you to experience it.


Valerie Jarrett

Chief Executive Officer, Obama Foundation