N° 100 — May 11, 2022
Stay in touch as we celebrate Washington Youth Garden's 50th Anniversary. Enjoy our updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and WYG.

The Arboretum lifted the seasonal traffic restrictions on Friday, May 6th. All roads and gates are now open to traffic and operating as normal, except Azalea Road which will remain closed for the nesting bald eagles in the Azalea Collections. Thank you for following these guidelines and helping the Arboretum manage the high volume of visitors this spring — your cooperation was greatly appreciated!
From the Editor
We sent out our first FONA Field Notes just over two years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the Arboretum had just closed its gates to visitors, FONA had canceled our Garden Fair & Plant Sale, and everyone was trying to find ways to connect with nature and each other.

Our team created FONA Field Notes to share the story of the National Arboretum and FONA. This was a big deal for us — never before had FONA published a weekly newsletter.

In the beginning, we shared stories of how we were adapting our education programs to bring garden science home to students, photos of plants in bloom at the Arboretum, and stories of the Arboretum's research programs and successes. One hundred issues later, FONA Field Notes remains an essential way we spread the word about FONA, the National Arboretum, and our partners.

Whether you're new to FONA Field Notes or have been an avid reader for all 100 issues — thank you for tuning in to hear our story. As FONA's Marketing and Communications Manager, I have greatly enjoyed working with my team and the Arboretum to create every one of these newsletters.

We'd love to hear from you. Please fill out this quick anonymous survey (2-4 minutes long) to provide feedback on FONA Field Notes and let us know how we're doing
Until next week,
Anne McGarvey
Marketing & Communications Manager
Photo from U.S. National Arboretum and American Eagle Foundation
Eagle Update
Last week, the bald eagle chick known as DC9 was brought down from its nest in the Arboretum's Azalea Collections for a health check. Scientists collected blood and feather samples, took growth measurements, and banded it for future identification. While initial measurements indicate DC9 is a male, the blood work results should confirm this.

The blood sample could also provide researchers with important data about the presence of legacy contaminants in the food chain. The Anacostia River serves as a major food source for the adult eagles and chicks who have lived in this nest since 2015. Although watershed clean-up efforts have come a long way, there are still industrial chemicals and heavy metals that may impact water quality and bioaccumulate up the food chain.
Eagles can exhibit exposure to contaminants in a number of ways, including nest failure and unsuccessful hatching, all of which have been associated with the Arboretum's nest. DC9's blood sample could help scientists inform future eagle management and monitoring decisions and Anacostia clean-up efforts.

Mr. President and LOTUS have continued to feed and care for DC9 in the time since its health check.

Photo from U.S. National Arboretum and American Eagle Foundation
Photo from U.S. National Arboretum and American Eagle Foundation
Digging In Lecture Series
In the next installment of our Digging In lecture series, we'll talk with local eagle and conservation experts about how the Arboretum's bald eagles fit into the greater Anacostia watershed and DC community. We're excited to have Sue Greeley from the Arboretum, Dan Rauch from DC DOEE, and Rodney Stotts from Rodney's Raptors join us for this program!

Digging In will take place on Tuesday, May 24th from 12 to 1:15 PM. FONA members can participate in this event live as part of their member benefits. If you're already a member, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation. Become a FONA member today to join this event and dig in with the experts.

This year marks our fifth annual Summer Institute for Garden-Based Teaching. During this four day training from July 12th to 15th, educators will develop garden-based teaching skills, learn best practices to sustain a school garden program, jumpstart planning for the next school year, and more!

The Summer Institute is open to all DC PK-5th teachers, staff, and volunteers who work in schools with existing school garden programs. Participants will receive a stipend, contingent upon finalized funding. Register by May 25th to join us for our Summer Institute.

Photo by Matthew Rakola
Garden Fair Supporters
Thank you to all our partners who made our April Garden Fair & Plant Sale a success! We are extremely grateful to DC Child Care Connections for orchestrating the ARTboretum family activities and supporting many event operational expenses, such as the shuttle service.

We are also grateful for the support of our event sponsors Bartlett Tree Experts and the Frank & Evelyn Schmidt Family Foundation. Thanks as well as the in-kind support from American Plant, Edelweiss Perennials, Far Reaches Farm, Foxborough Nursery, JC Raulston Arboretum, Plant Delights Nursery, and Terry Macfarlane.
Summer 5K
Early-bird pricing for our Summer 5K ends this weekend! Register today for our Summer 5K on June 25th to take advantage of early-bird pricing. Early-bird pricing until May 15th is $40 and includes a race t-shirt. Standard pricing after May 15th is $55 and does not include a t-shirt (FONA members check your email for the member discount code).

Whether you're running for speed or walking the course, join our 5K race and enjoy the National Arboretum in its summer splendor.

Upcoming Events
Lunar Eclipse Viewing
May 15, 8 PM - Midnight
Laid-back viewing in the Meadow

WYG 50th Anniversary Weekend
Birthday Party June 11, 11 AM - 1:30 PM
Evening Benefit June 12, 5:30 PM - 8 PM

Summer 5K
June 25, 9 AM
Scenic race through collections in bloom
The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM except December 25th. Some buildings and collections remain closed to ensure visitor and staff safety.
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