A petition with over 68,000 signatures is circulating to restore the Rose Garden outside the White House. The current Rose Garden has a history dating back to the 1960s when President John F. Kennedy was in office.
The garden foliage had remained the same since then until former First Lady Melania Trump removed the colorful flowers and most of the trees in 2019 to create a white and blush (palest pink) only color palette.
Shortly after the garden began to have serious issues with drainage and sinking pathway stones.
The latest petition says this about the garden:
"To honor Jacqueline Kennedy's contributions to the White House and its grounds, her immediate successor, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, renamed the East Garden as the 'Jacqueline Kennedy Garden'
during a ceremony on 22 April 1965."
"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 trees were actually crab apple trees chosen to be part of the finished design as a tribute to President Kennedy's New England roots, but the sentiment remains the same.
"Jackie's legacy was ripped away from Americans who remembered all that the Kennedy's meant to us."
They ask current First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff to restore the gardens to their original design from former First Lady Jackie Kennedy.
Thousands of people gave their comments on why they signed the petition.
From William Hague:
"I'm still in disbelief that [Melania] tRUMP did this to Jackie's garden. do they have NO SHAME? the rose garden must be restored!"
Mary Beth Harris said:
"What is now is sterile and almost funereal. What was was bursting with color and life and joy. Bring it back!"
The garden was used often for press briefings by Trump as well as rallies for his latest causes leading many to conclude the renovations were designed to give him a better staging area.
During the pandemic Trump continued to use the Rose Garden despite several outbreaks of Covid-19 linked to public, unmasked events there. The event most suspect caused Trump to contract the virus himself was the announcement of Amy Coney Barret's nomination for the Supreme Court after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.
According to reports, Melania Trump's new design for the garden had to be entirely redone due to lack of proper water drainage in the plans.
The renovation drew a lot of ire when it was unveiled in 2020.
News of the petition is spreading online.
People are sharing the petition link and why they signed it.
The full petition can be viewed here.
The White House has yet to comment on calls to restore the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden to its namesake's original design.