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Obama Presidential Center to Have a Garden and honor Mrs. Robinson
May 19 – Jun 1, 2022
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The Obama Presidential Center released more details about the four-building campus being built in Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side. The new details include a garden and exhibit honoring the former First Lady’s mother, Mrs. Robinson.

In keeping with Mrs. Obama’s healthy eating initiatives and the White House Kitchen Garden she launched during her time as First Lady, there will be a Fruit & Vegetable Garden on the Center’s campus. Like any great garden, there will be planting beds for seasonal produce and a picnic area for friends and families to gather. There will also be a Garden Classroom & Teaching Kitchen where visitors of all ages and abilities will be able to participate in hands-on workshops to learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Fruit & Vegetable Garden will be named after Eleanor Roosevelt. During her tenure as First Lady, 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.

“Opening the White House” exhibit at the Obama Presidential Center Museum will be named in honor of Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson. The permanent exhibit will showcase miniature models of spaces at the White House such as the East Room, the State Dining Room, and the South Lawn. Visitors to the space will also learn about the many talented artists, musicians, athletes, and performers who visited the White House during the Obamas’ time in office.

“My mother gave me non-stop, unconditional love in so many ways. She fostered in me a deep sense of confidence in who I was and who I could be by teaching me how to think for myself, how to use my own voice, and how to understand my own worth,” said Mrs. Obama.

The Center will also include a branch library, underground parking facility, plaza, play areas, pedestrian and bicycle paths and landscaped open space. In addition, the Obama Foundation has promised to set aside half of the projects for firms owned by female, Black and Latino Chicagoans, nearly double the city’s goals.

The Center is also expected to draw more traffic to other South Side, South Suburban, and Northwest Indiana attractions that are nearby including:

5 minutes to the DuSable Museum of African American History

15 minutes to Pullman National Monument

20 minutes to Chicago’s Finest Marina and Underground Railroad Site Memorial

30 minutes to Hard Rock Casino – Northern Indiana @ Gary

35 minutes to Miller Beach/Marquette Park and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Northwest Indiana

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