First Lady Crissy Haslam recently hosted the 7th biennial First Lady’s Luncheon to benefit the Tennessee Residence Foundation, which raises private funds for renovation and restoration projects of the Tennessee Executive Residence. The event marks the final First Lady’s Luncheon of the Haslam administration.
More than 600 men and women from across the state joined Gov. and Mrs. Haslam for lunch on the lawn to support the final phase of the Tennessee Residence landscape project, focused on under planting the property. Guests enjoyed touring the home and grounds, lunch and service provided by Gaylord Opryland, and remarks from keynote speaker Jenna Bush Hager, author, NBC News correspondent and daughter of 43rd U.S. President, George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
“Built in 1929 and acquired by the state 20 years later, this home and its grounds represent almost 90 years of rich Tennessee history,” First Lady Haslam said. “Today’s celebration honors the generous donations of many Tennesseans who have chosen to invest in preserving the beauty, tradition, and cultural significance of the Tennessee Residence.”
Beginning in 2011, First Lady Haslam began a renovation project to bring the residence grounds back to their original health and Colonial Revival design of the 1930s. To date, project accomplishments include the restoration of the historic lily pond garden, the entrance to Conservation Hall, the Great Lawn, a kitchen and cutting garden, and the construction of a green house. The most recent additions to the grounds include an herb garden and several new species of trees, resulting in the property’s designation as a Level II arboretum.
Visitors to the Tennessee Residence can now see a great example of healthy farm-to-table eating and sustainability, as the kitchen and cutting garden grows a wide variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs and fresh flowers to use in the home. Through a student field trip program, the garden also serves as a classroom for young visitors to learn about healthy eating, science, problem solving, sustainability and the environment.
“Bill and I are proud to carry out this project to enhance the beauty of the Residence, as well as enrich the cultural experience of visiting the home and grounds,” First Lady Haslam said. “It is important to us to be good stewards of the property, so that future generations can enjoy Tennessee’s home.”
The Tennessee Residence Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created to raise and spend funds for the renovation, restoration, reconstruction, expansion, and upkeep of the Tennessee Residence.
For more information about the landscape renovation project, visit www.tn.gov/firstlady.