N° 172 — November 8, 2023

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

Sharing Gratitude

There's so much we are thankful for at FONA. This week, we want to extend our gratitude to all of the volunteers who have donated their time and effort to us this year.

Volunteers have worked over 1,260 hours in the Washington Youth Garden alone. This is equivalent to adding about two full time staff during the growing season when support is needed the most. Without these volunteers, our team would not be able to grow and share over 8,000 pounds of produce with our community partners.

Volunteers also play a critical role in our community events. Much of the Garden Fair & Plant Sale is only possible because of the countless hours spent by volunteers ordering, organizing, and selling thousands of plants. Without volunteers, FONA would not have been able to connect over 13,500 people to the Arboretum this year through our community events and programs.

Fall 5K this Weekend

Join over 430 runners and walkers at our Fall 5K this Sunday, November 12th at 9 AM. Enjoy a cool fall morning and soak in the fall colors as you race around the Arboretum.

Registration costs $50 until 11:59 PM tonight, before it increases to $55 heading into race weekend (FONA members, use your discount code). At this time, t-shirts are still available for new registrants (while supplies last). Registration is free for children 12 and under. Strollers are welcome and dogs are allowed on a five-foot non-retractable leash

Register for the Fall 5K >

Looking for other ways to participate in the 5K without racing? We are looking for volunteers to help hand out race materials, distribute water, and help direct racers.

Sign up for a Volunteer Position >

From our Friends: Herb Society of America

Winter holidays are around the corner, and the Herb Society of America has picked rosemary as the Herb of the Month this November. Check out these rosemary-forward recipes created by members of HSA chapters from across the country.

Rosemary Recipes >

Photo by Isaac Wedin via Flickr

The Potomac Unit is the local chapter of the Herb Society of America, and is one of the National Arboretum's partners. Many of their members volunteer in the Herb Garden. The Potomac Unit, along with other local units, play a large role in the Arboretum's Under the Arbor series. Check out the Potomac Unit's website to learn more about their work.

Learn about the Potomac Unit >

Bonsai Museum Exhibit

Stop by the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery between now and March 17, 2024 for a special exhibit. In honor of a generous gift from Kemin Hu, the National Arboretum is filling the Exhibits Gallery with Chinese scholars’ rocks (gongshi) originally from Kemin Hu's extensive collection. Step out of the nation’s capital and into the world of the Chinese literati — a mystical, magical landscape of inspiration and exploration.

Dive deeper into the collection with the accompanying book that features 107 color photographs and an essay exploring gonshi's 2000 year history.

More About the Exhibit >

Plant Spotlight

The National Arboretum is home to several specimens of critically endangered Glyptostrobus pensilis, or Chinese swamp-cypress. Many of these originate from seeds collected from a pair of 300-year-old trees that were brought from the delta of the Dong River in the Guangdong province of China and planted in the village of Tai Hang in Hong Kong by its founders. They are characterized by their fluffy clusters of foliage and their thin upright frames. In some regions G. pensilis are still cultivated to stabilize rice paddies, but in the wild they are at serious risk of extinction. Check out these rarities at the Introduction Garden, Asian Collections, or the Gotelli Conifer Collection while they change color this fall.

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.

Upcoming Events

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 Sale

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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