For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
November 2, 2008
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a First Bloom Event
Trinity River Audubon Center
November 2, 2008
2:06 P.M. CDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much. Thank you, Jovanna. Thank you for being here, thank you for your very excellent introduction. And I want to thank each and every one of you who are out here today on this beautiful November day. It's such a beautiful place to be.
I especially want to recognize the Mayor of Dallas, Mayor Tom Leppert, and his wife, Laura. Thank you very much for all the great work you do for Dallas. (Applause.)
Vin Cipolla, the President of the National Park Foundation, thank you, Vin, for all your very good work here; Regan Gammon, once again, the Vice Chair of the National Park Foundation; Mr. Chris Culak, who's the Director of the Trinity Center -- River Audubon Center -- Trinity River Audubon Center. Where is Chris now? Way back there in the back. (Laughter.) Thank you, Chris. Charles English, who's the President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, thank you very much, Charles. (Applause.)
And students who are here from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas and from Williams Preparatory School. I went to Williams school for another First Bloom event, the very first First Bloom event we did here in Dallas. That was the sixth grade before you, I guess. I think these are sixth graders that are with us today.
And then thanks especially to our very special guests, the Jonas Brothers. We were excited to have the Jonas Brothers at the White House in March for their second performance at the White House Easter Egg Roll. You can imagine how thrilled the kids were that got to come to the Easter Egg Roll, and when they got there found out the Jonas Brothers were going to be singing for them. And they returned just recently to Washington to record a new message for the United States' government's "Get Outdoors, It's Yours" campaign. Thank you for encouraging American young people to spend more time in our -- nature and in our National Parks.
My love for our National Parks began when I was a little girl growing up not too far from here in Midland, Texas. My mother was also my Girl Scout leader, and she took my Girl Scout troop to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. That was our closest National Park. I never imagined then that one day our family would live in a National Park -- the White House. Did you know the White House is a National Park?
Today, I hike in National Parks every year with my childhood friends. During these trips, we've had some wild times -- and I do mean "wild." We've seen bears and wolves on the hiking trails. Once, a teenage moose wandered through our campground. We've been drenched by accident in flash rainstorms. And we've doused ourselves on purpose, daring each other to brave the ice-cold waters in Glacier National Park.
We're lucky in Texas to have 14 National Park sites where you can have wild times of your own -- from the mountains of Big Bend to the shores of Padre Island. The National Park's First Bloom program is introducing Texas young people to our great National Parks. And through events like today's seed plantings, it's bringing the Parks' ethic of conservation into our cities and into our own backyards.
First Bloom marked its one year anniversary last month. Already, it's sprung to life across our country in 16 National Parks. This is my second First Bloom event here in Dallas. I might be a little bit biased, but I think Texas is the perfect place to celebrate this program. In fact, First Bloom was launched in honor of another Texas First Lady, and one whom I greatly admire, Lady Bird Johnson.
Today, students here at the Trinity River Audubon Center learned what they can do to carry on Lady Bird Johnson's legacy of promoting native plants. These students went on a hike, they learned how to identify native grasses, they planted native grass seeds of their own, scattering seed balls that they've made out of compost, soil and grass seed.
President Bush and I have our own experience with planting native grass. We've returned some of our land in Crawford back to the wild prairie that it was before it was grazed and plowed. We know that native plants are better for the soil, and the diverse prairie attracts a much more diverse array of wildlife.
First Bloom is turning seed planters of today into the nature lovers of tomorrow. As the success of the Trinity River Audubon Center shows, a community that values natural resources can work together and build beautiful sites for everyone. I look forward to seeing how the boys and girls I met here continue these efforts, and make Dallas a better and more greener place for all of us to live. And all of these kids say they can't wait to come back next year and see the wildgrasses that they've planted.
Now, I'm happy to introduce a group that knows firsthand how far the voices of youth can carry: Kevin, Joe and Nick -- the Jonas Brothers. (Applause.)
END 2:12 P.M. CDT