N° 40 — February 9, 2021
Happy Black History Month! We're taking time this month to celebrate and reflect on the Black horticulturalists, botanists, and agriculturalists who shaped our world.

Please enjoy our regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.
Black Legacies: Henry Kirklin
Henry Kirklin was a former enslaved person who made waves with his gardening, horticulture, and business skills in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Originally hired by the University of Missouri to work as a gardener and greenhouse supervisor, Kirklin was quickly asked by staff to teach grafting and pruning in horticulture lab classes. Although his role was unofficial, Kirklin was likely the first Black person to teach at the university.

He went on to apply his garden knowledge to grow his own successful commercial fruit and vegetable farm. Kirklin was featured in national farming journals and local media — according to the Columbia Evening Missourian, his knowledge of nursery work was "unlimited".

Horticulturalist Henry Kirklin was renowned around the United States at the turn of the 20th century for his gardening skills. Photo from: The State Historical Society of Missouri
Valentine's Forest Bathing
Roses are red,
violets are blue.
Spend your Valentine’s weekend
forest bathing with your boo!

Be sure that you’re bundled
with hats, coats, and mittens.
So you can walk the Arboretum grounds
and surely be smitten.

Register today
so you can take part,
in a Valentine’s activity
sure to warm your heart.

Tickets are $35 (FONA members receive 20% discount):

  • Saturday, Feb. 13 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Sunday, Feb. 14 from 10 AM to 12 PM
  • Sunday, Feb. 14 from 1 PM to 3 PM

Arboretum Activities
On Saturday, March 20th from 9:30 AM to 3 PM, the National Arboretum will virtually host its 34th Annual Lahr Symposium!

Ecological, botanical, and horticultural experts will share their research on invasive species, discuss entomology in an urban landscape, and share their knowledge of native plants and ecosystem-based garden design.

Tickets are $75 per person ($60 for FONA members).

Photo from: U.S. National Arboretum
Calling all teens! Are you interested in urban gardening and food production? Join the U.S. Botanic Garden and Washington Youth Garden on Saturday, February 13 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM for a workshop just for teens.

You'll hear from local professionals working in urban gardening, food production, and community engagement about their personal and professional journeys and what it's like working in their jobs. Ask questions, learn about exciting career paths, and connect with other DC teens with similar interests.

Registration is currently full, but sign up for the waitlist or watch the recorded session after the live event.

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, Feb. 10th at 7PM, middle school science teacher and science curriculum coordinator Brandi Cannon will bridge the botanical divide in her conversation about personal identification and discovery.

Brandi Cannon, a middle school science teacher and science curriculum coordinator, connect plants and people through concepts of identification and discovery. Photo from: Holden Arboretum
Photo from: Emily Carter Mitchell, Capital Photography Center
From our Friends: Capital Photography Center
Want to photograph your backyard birds like a pro? Join Capital Photography Center on Monday, February 15th from 7 to 8 PM for a free webinar on how to create a bird photography studio in your backyard.

The instructor will discuss recommend equipment, camera and exposure settings, field behavior, how to create feeding stations with photography in mind, create compelling images, and more.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Happy Valentine's Day from your friends at FONA! We hope plans of spring at the National Arboretum help chase away the winter blues.

Thank you for your support and friendship! We hope to see you around the Arboretum soon.

Designed by: Brooke Morton
The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM - 5 PM except December 25th. Some buildings and collections remain closed to ensure visitor and staff safety.