The annual Spring Garden and Grounds Tours in April are also cancelled as part of sequester action...
The White House chefs have been leading school groups on educational tours through First Lady Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn since 2010, but these are now cancelled along with all other White House tours, East Wing spokesman Hannah August told Obama Foodorama. The White House on Tuesday announced that due to staffing reductions from the $85 billion spending cuts known as the 'sequester,' public tours of the historic mansion will be cancelled beginning this Saturday, March 9 and continuing indefinitely. (Above, Mrs. Obama and Sam Kass in the garden with visiting students last Spring)
The tour cancellations will also include the Spring Garden and Grounds Tour, scheduled annually in April for thousands of visitors, who wait in a long long to view the Kitchen Garden: "All tours are suspended," August said.
The First Lady's Kitchen Garden, the best-known symbol for her Let's Move! campaign, grows year round. Ground was first broken for the 1,500 square-foot plot four years ago this month.
The recorded message on the 24-hour phone line for the White House Visitors Office currently says:
"Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to
inform you that White House tours will be cancelled effective Saturday,
March 9 until further notice. Unfortuntely we will not be able to
reschedule a second tours. We very much regret having to take this
action, particulalry during the popular spring touring season. For
updates regarding this action, please contact the White House Visitors Office at 202 456 7041."
*Top photo by Sonya N. Hebert/White House; second by Pete Souza/White House