The first major project undertaken by the Foundation at the suggestion of the National Park Service and in partnership with the NPS was the recreation of the Roosevelt family home garden.
The Foundation raised $350,000 from individuals and charitable foundations, a sum that was matched by the NPS as a 2016 Centennial grant. Over the subsequent two years, the soil in this two-acre area has been graded for draining, improved with organic material, provided with fencing and irrigation piping, and planted in ground cover. In 2018, the first vegetable crops were planted and harvested.
An educator and horticulturalists have been hired, volunteer gardeners recruited, and arrangements made for harvested produce (much of it identical to the crops planted in this ground in 1912) to be supplied to schools and to food pantries serving the needy in the region.
The educational outreach is both curriculum-based, exported to school classrooms, and on-site in the form of interpretive brochures, fixed panels, and scheduled talks.
The re-establishment of a working vegetable and fruit garden at the center of this much-visited National Historic Site has served not only to give a more complete experience of the property and a reinforcing message of the importance to us all of garden-to-table locally-grown, healthy nutrition; it also underscores an enduring Roosevelt legacy — promoting a more abundant life for all.