N° 107 — June 29, 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.
LGBTQ+ Legacies: J.C. Raulston
J.C. Raulston not only founded the arboretum at North Carolina State University that now bears his name, but he was also a highly accomplished gay horticulturist who cultivated a community of LGBTQ gardeners.

J.C. is considered to have "[introduced] and [promoted] more plants into contemporary horticulture than anyone else during the latter part of the 20th century." He challenged the U.S. nursery industry to drastically expand the variety of plants grown and sold. He even gave away plants and encouraging growers to take propagation cuttings directly from plants at the arboretum.
Photo from: JC Raulston Arboretum
In 1978, Raulston created the Lavandula and Labiatae Society to create a space for gay and lesbian people in horticulture to connect without forcing them to compromise their identities. By 1990, 300 people from 34 states were members of the society.

Weddings With a Mission
The National Arboretum was recently named the fourth most unique wedding venue in the United States by Brides.

Weddings and private events at the National Arboretum are run by FONA in partnership with MTG Hospitality. Our venue rental program offers an array of wedding packages that allow couples to choose between a number of catering partners and location options.
Photo by: Birchfields
Photo by: Genevieve Huba
In addition to providing critical support for both the Arboretum's and FONA's missions, revenue from our weddings and private events directly supports our DC community.

The 19 weddings we hosted in 2021 brought in just under $1 million in revenue to our event partners, all of whom are local and diverse small businesses. This includes the corners of the hospitality industry that were hardest hit by the pandemic, such as florists, wedding planners, and caterers.

As our venue rental program grows, so too does our community impact. We have over 30 weddings booked for 2022, and are now accepting bookings for 2023.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Juneteenth in the Garden event in Washington Youth Garden! We enjoyed celebrating the foods of Juneteenth with a cooking demonstration by Chef Daoud Harris from Six Street Eats. During your next visit to the youth garden, explore what kinds of African diaspora crops we are growing this year.

Race Wrap Up
We had a blast hosting over 360 runners and walkers at our Summer 5K this weekend! We particularly enjoyed partnering with the Masjid Muhammad community to help celebrate the mosque's 85th anniversary.

This event would not have been possible without our amazing partners: Pacers Running managed the race, The Rounds provided coffee and snacks, and CVS Pharmacy provided race giveaways.

Need motivation to start training? Register now for our Fall 5K on Saturday, November 12th. Register before October 16th to receive a race t-shirt and early-bird pricing.

Upcoming Events
Movie in the Meadow: Calamity
July 13, 9 PM - 10:30 PM
Free outdoor movie with the French Embassy

U.S. Navy Band Concert
August 10, 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Free outdoor concert in the Meadow

Sundays this summer, 10 AM - 11 AM
Find your flow with Bluebird Sky Yoga

Forest Bathing
Various dates and times
Meditation and mindfulness
We are taking next week off from FONA Field Notes. Happy Independence Day, we'll see you on July 13th!
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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