N° 170 — October 25, 2023

Enjoy regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.

Top photo by Tom Gralish.

In Memoriam: Paul W. Meyer

We are deeply saddened to share the passing of Paul W. Meyer, a long-time member of FONA’s board and staunch advocate and supporter of the National Arboretum.

Paul was a celebrated horticulturist, plant explorer, and photographer. He built his career at the Morris Arboretum & Gardens over 43 years, 28 of which was as the F. Otto Haas Executive Director. Paul recently received the Veitch Memorial Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain, which was awarded for his “outstanding contribution to the advancement and improvement of the science and practice of horticulture.”

Since joining FONA’s board in 2009, Paul has selflessly shared his expertise and passion for plants and Arboreta with us. He also played a significant role in the due diligence for FONA’s planned canopy trail, having led a similar project at the Morris Arboretum. He will be missed by all at FONA and the National Arboretum.

Learn More about Paul’s Life & Legacy >

Holiday Events

FONA's annual holiday events are just around the corner! Both events will be held at the New York Avenue Parking Lot.

Winter Festival

Saturday, December 2nd | 10 AM - 4 PM

Shop from local vendors at our Holiday Market and enjoy free holiday-themed family activities. Have a hassle-free holidays and get all your shopping done in one place!

Event registration is not required, but register to receive important event updates and to let us know you're coming. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be held on Sunday, December 3rd.

Winter Festival Details & Registration >

Christmas Tree Sale

Saturday, December 2nd | 10 AM - 4 PM

Sunday, December 3rd | 10 AM - 4 PM

Buy Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands — a portion of all sales directly support FONA! Saturday's tree sale will take place at the same time and right next door to the Winter Festival.

Trees are available for pre-order and can be picked up at the Arboretum either Saturday or Sunday, or delivered straight to your home. Pre-ordering is not required but guarantees you a quality tree. When pre-ordering, you must select “Friends of the National Arboretum” as the fundraising partner at checkout to ensure your purchase supports FONA.

Pre-Order Your Christmas Tree >

Fall 5K — Get Your T-Shirt!

A limited number of Fall 5K race t-shirts are still available for new registrants. Sign up today so you can rock this shirt wherever you go! The Fall 5K will take place at 9 AM on Sunday, November 12th. Both runners and walkers are welcome. Registration costs $50 and includes the t-shirt while supplies last.

Register for the Fall 5K >

Plant Spotlight

Maples are some of the first trees to change color in the fall, turning a wide range of warm colors. The enduring vibrancy of the USNA introduction red maple ‘Brandywine’ (Acer rubrum ‘Brandywine’) makes it stand out among other maples. Leaves turn an intense red that slowly shades to purple over about two weeks, giving spectators plenty of time to enjoy the radiance. Red maples grow large enough to be good shade trees. ‘Brandywine’ is a male selection that does not produce seed, which saves the homeowner from pulling up maple seedlings. You can enjoy the beautiful colors of ‘Brandywine’ in the Flowering Tree Walk, Introduction Garden, or Maple Collection from late October to early November.

Kamala Codrington-White, an ORISE fellow at the National Arboretum, shares plants of note at the Arboretum in this new recurring segment. Find these plants on your next trip to the Arboretum this fall. Photo by the U.S. National Arboretum.

Garlic Planting Party

Celebrate the end of the growing season with us at our Garlic Planting Party this Saturday, October 28th in the Washington Youth Garden. Stop by the garden between 11 AM and 2 PM for garlic planting, face painting, food tastings, vegetable harvesting, art activities, and more! All ages are welcome to join. Wearing Halloween costumes is highly encouraged!

Learn More & Register for the Party >

Upcoming Events

Garlic Planting Party

October 28, 11 AM - 2 PM

Fall planting, crafts, and more in Washington Youth Garden

Details & Registration >

Fall 5K

November 12, 9 AM

Run or walk through stunning fall foliage (Members use your discount code)

Details & Registration >

Winter Festival

December 2, 10 AM - 4 PM

Holiday market and free family activities

Details & Registration >

Christmas Tree Sales

December 2, 10 AM - 4 PM

December 3, 10 AM - 4 PM

Purchase Christmas trees & holiday greenery

Details & Tree Pre-Order >

Volunteer in Washington Youth Garden

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays

Opportunities for individuals, groups, & teens

Details & Registration >

Forest Bathing Walks

Various dates and times

Meditation and mindfulness

Upcoming Dates & Registration >

The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM except December 25th.

Check Our Website for Full Details >

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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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