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Today, a garden at the White House – tomorrow, at 50 statehouses?

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The campaign to have the Obamas plant a vegetable garden at the White House was such as success that now there's another effort, GreentheGrounds.org, which wants to encourage not just kitchen gardens but sustainable landscaping around the governors' mansions or statehouses of all 50 states.

The idea is to urge other states to follow the examples of Maryland (the grounds of its governor's mansion have been certified by the Bay-Wise program), New York (where a "greening the mansion" program is under way), and Ohio (where a 3-1/2-acre "heritage garden" was created around the governor's mansion).

California's first lady, Maria Shriver, has also announced that a vegetable garden will be planted in Capitol Park in Sacramento next month.

One of the main ideas behind this campaign is that planting vegetables and using sustainable landscaping techniques (wise water use, natural lawn care, nature-friendly plant care, etc.) will set a good example for the residents of all states, show what can be done, and explain why it's a good idea.

"Moving from the growing of food to 'greening' the whole grounds, there are even more
opportunities to show Americans how to use their yards in new ways that are better for the
environment, save money, and encourage families to be more active outdoors," wrote Susan Harris in a proposal solicited by the White House.

So far, you may notice from the examples of what's already been accomplished, it's all first ladies doing the gardening. Maybe that's the key. Do you think it's likely this might happen in your state?


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