Photo by Plume Photography

N° 116 — September 21, 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.

A Night to Remember

Thank you to all who joined us last night for our 26th annual Dinner Under the Stars! Over 300 guests enjoyed cocktails in the National Herb Garden and dinner in the meadow below the Capitol Columns.

During the evening, FONA's Board Chair Michael Stevens and Executive Director Craven Rand welcomed the gathered group of business leaders, local and federal government representatives, donors, and community members. Dr. Richard Olsen, Director of the National Arboretum, then spoke to the Arboretum's current horticulture research and the partnership between FONA and the National Arboretum.

From left: Mary Proctor, Dr. Richard Olsen, Cathy Kerkam, Bill Matuszeski. Photo by Plume Photography

Photo by Plume Photography

This event is our biggest fundraiser of the year — we raised over $250,000 thanks to the support of our event sponsors and guests!

Funds raised from the Dinner go a long way in helping us fulfill our mission. FONA preserves and enhances the National Arboretum and facilitates experiential programs that instill a love of plants, nature, and the outdoors in all who visit the Arboretum. Thank you to all who attended and supported this evening!

Volunteer at the Washington Youth Garden this fall and help us build Grow@Home kits! These kits include an activity guide that allows students to practice the scientific method, run their own experiments, and create nutritious meals from what they grow.

Sign up and join us on the following days:

  • Tuesday, October 4th from 10 AM to 1 PM
  • Saturday, October 15th from 10 AM to 1 PM
  • Saturday, November 5th from 10 AM to 1 PM

Register to Make Grow@Home Kits >

Vote for "Best of DC"

Vote for the National Arboretum and FONA in this year's Best of DC and help more people discover the Arboretum! Voting is open from September 15th through October 16th.


Please vote for the following four categories:

  • "Best Date Activity" in Arts & Entertainment: vote for the U.S. National Arboretum
  • "Best Place to Day Trip" in People & Places: vote for the U.S. National Arboretum
  • "Best Nonprofit" in People & Places: vote for Friends of the National Arboretum
  • "Best Kid-Friendly Attraction" in People & Places: vote for Washington Youth Garden

Cast Your Vote >

Fall Festival & Bulb Sale

Did you know our Fall Festival & Bulb Sale on October 1st, in addition to having unique bulbs for sale and local vendors, will also have free family activities? Falling in Love with Learning is a child-centered, family-focused event hosted by DC Childcare Connections. We'll have planting and falconry demonstrations, nature-based crafts, and book giveaways. Registration for the family activities is encouraged but not required. 

Family Activity Registration >

Photo by Matthew Rakola

Full Moon Hike

Experience the Arboretum at night and join us for a Full Moon Hike on October 7th from 7 to 9 PM. Guide Melinda Peters, Director of Education at Casey Trees, will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal tree highlights. This is the only Full Moon Hike that will be offered in 2022 and spots are filling quickly. Registration is $35 ($25 for FONA members — use your discount code).

Full Moon Hike Registration >

Upcoming Events

Fall Festival & Bulb Sale

October 1, 10 AM - 2 PM

Unique bulbs and family activities

Details & Tickets >

Full Moon Hike

October 7, 7 PM - 9 PM

Night hike through moonlit gardens

Details & Tickets >

Garlic Planting Party

October 29, 11 AM - 2 PM

Fall planting and crafts in WYG

Details & Tickets >

Fall 5K

November 12, 9 AM

Run or walk through stunning fall foliage

FONA Members, use your discount code

Register for the Race >

Procrastinator's Holiday Market & Tree Sale

December 10, 9 AM - 4 PM

Shop local vendors and holiday greenery

Details & Tickets >


Various dates and times

Find your flow with Bluebird Sky Yoga

FONA Members, use your discount code

Purchase Your Ticket >

Forest Bathing

Various dates and times

Meditation and mindfulness

Purchase Your Ticket >

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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Friends of the National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
FONA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization with the mission to preserve and enhance a vibrant public space and support experiential programming that instills a love of plants, nature and the outdoors in all who visit, while promoting the overarching research and education mission of the U.S. National Arboretum.

Since its inception, FONA has helped support the Washington Youth Garden, Capitol Columns, Flowering Tree Walk, horticultural and research internships, restoration of Springhouse Run, and much more.

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