N° 36 — January 12, 2021
Please enjoy our regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.
Happy New Year!
Happy new year from our FONA family to yours! May you find peace and joy in nature in 2021 and beyond.

We are grateful for your support, especially during this past year. Thanks to you, we were able to provide critical resources and green space for our community during the pandemic.

Ashe's magnolia (Magnolia ashei) Photo from: Garden Club of America
From our Friends:
Garden Club of America
The Garden Club of America recently revisited the National Arboretum's genetic research of Ashe's magnolia (Magnolia ashei). This endangered species is native to the Florida panhandle.

As GCA members note, the Arboretum's research has "laid the foundation for genetic conservation efforts and new introductions of this charismatic ornamental species."

Conservation & Community
Looking to help your community this new year? While volunteers are not permitted at the National Arboretum due to COVID, many of our local environmental partners in the DC area are hosting trash cleanups this spring. Some events start this weekend with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

These cleanups are critical to intercepting trash before it reaches the Anacostia River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. Each organization has its own guidelines for COVID and cleanup safety.

Anacostia Riverkeeper is kicking off their spring cleanups this Monday, January 18 from 10 AM - 1 PM. Photo by: Robbie O'Donnell, Watershed Programs Manager at Anacostia Riverkeeper.
Your Review of FONA
Help FONA by writing a review of our organization!

Please help us earn a badge from GreatNonprofits by writing a short, candid review about your experience and impression of FONA itself (not the Arboretum) on the GreatNonprofits website by the end of January.

Thank you for helping others learn about our work with your review!

From the Lab: Bird Count
Birders flocked to the National Arboretum in mid-December to participate in the Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count. The Arboretum is considered a major regional hot spot for bird diversity.

This hummingbird was spotted feeding at a cherry tree near the Azalea Road parking lot. She continues to spend many early mornings getting a sugar boost from the Arboretum's cherry trees.

There is debate amongst local bird enthusiasts exactly which species of hummingbird she is. Scientists have put out a modified hummingbird feeder to safely capture, band, and identify her. Stay tuned for more!

This hummingbird has been spotted at the Arboretum feeding on cherry tree nectar for the past several weeks. While the exact identification is being debated, scientists have put out a modified feeder. Photo by: Martin V. Sneary
Virtual Mindfulness
George Washington Office of Integrative Medicine and Health and Access to Integrative Medicine Health Institute are hosting 'A Mindfulness Experience' series every Friday afternoon from 2 - 3 PM, starting January 15th.

This series is "a free, weekly, online gathering to provide you with stress relief, immune system support, and evidence based answers to your COVID-19 questions."

The event ends with a virtual forest bathing walk through the National Arboretum with Sage Raindancer, a certified nature and forest therapy guide.

From our Friends:
Holden Arboretum
Join the Holden Arboretum tomorrow evening for the next installment of their Growing Black Roots virtual lecture series. Every month, this series dives into the historical legacy of Black botanists from a broad range of botanical disciplines and highlight pathways towards diversity and inclusion in botanical sciences.

This Wednesday, Jan. 13th at 7PM, Tatyana Soto from Perdue University will discuss how three rare plant species have adapted to survive in toxic serpentine soils in California.

Tatyana Soto, a masters student at Perdue University, will discuss her population genetics research in this month's Growing Black Roots lecture presented by Holden Arboretum. Photo from: Holden Arboretum
The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM - 5 PM. Some buildings and collections remain closed to ensure visitor and staff safety.