N° 48 — April 7, 2021
Happy spring! Please enjoy our regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.
New Arboretum Traffic Management Plan
Beginning Friday, April 9, the number of visitors and vehicles allowed on the National Arboretum grounds at any given time will be limited. During peak visitation, which is generally over the weekend, entry may be delayed by an estimated thirty minutes to an hour. We urge visitors to plan their weekend visit as early in the day as possible or visit on a weekday to avoid crowds and delayed entry.

As of 4/9, the guidelines for visiting the Arboretum are as follows:
  • Wear a mask at all times during your visit.
  • Hours: 8 AM - 5 PM daily
  • Access: Vehicular traffic will be restricted to the New York Avenue entrance (3501 New York Ave, NE). The R Street Entrance may be accessed by pedestrians and cyclists (2400 R Street, NE).
  • Traffic Flow: Vehicular travel will be limited to a single one-way loop route with free parking available in one of three parking lots. There will also be overflow parallel parking on the right side of the one-way route along most of its length.
  • Key Features: The following areas will remain closed until further notice to ensure social distancing: Administration Building/Visitor Center, National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, and Fern Valley. All other collections are open to the public.

Spring veggies are in the ground at Washington Youth Garden! Our garden team is filling rows and raised beds with kale, radishes, turnips, onions, peas, beets, leafy greens, and more.

Last year, we harvested and donated over 4,000 pounds of vegetables from WYG and our partner school gardens. With our first vegetables in the ground, we're excited to continue nurturing our community in 2021 with fresh food from our garden.

Arboretum Activities
Get outdoors and connect with nature this Saturday. During our two-hour forest bathing program, our certified forest bathing guides invite you to reflect on the world around you and guide you through focused meditations.

We're piloting a new "pay what you can" ticket model, too! While our suggested ticket price is $35 ($28 for FONA members), we want all members of our community to connect with nature. If paying $35 would prohibit you from attending this event, please pay what you can.

Get your April forest bathing tickets:
Explore a free outdoor ikebana exhibit at the National Arboretum from 8 AM - 5 PM over the next two weekends, April 10 - 11 and April 17 - 18.

Ikebana International's Washington, DC Chapter No. 1 will display 7 different arrangements each weekend on the North Court of the Visitor Center. Bring your smartphone and scan the QR codes to watch the artists speak about their arrangements.

Choose Your Own Adventure
Where will your Arboretum adventure take you? There's so much to explore at the National Arboretum beyond the historic Capitol Columns — from cherry blossoms and bird watching, to pagodas and hidden Anacostia overlooks.

Check out this article from the Washington Post and see what you can discover at the Arboretum.

Cherry blossom season lasts longer at the National Arboretum than many other parts of DC! The Arboretum has a 3.2-mile long self-guided tour so you can enjoy and learn about the cherry blossoms.

Here's how to access the tour:

Photo from: Manali Sontakke
Wedding Season
Wedding season has officially begun at the National Arboretum! With a weekend of fantastic weather and picture-perfect gardens, this happy couple was married amongst the Capitol Columns and had a small celebration along the Visitor Center's East Terrace.

Does this outdoor wedding sound enticing? FONA hosts weddings of many sizes — choose between:

  • A minimony (ceremony only)
  • A microwedding (ceremony and cocktail hour)
  • A full-sized wedding (ceremony, cocktail hour, and seated dinner)

Vendor Corner
Although the Lahr and Garden Fair plant sales are both cancelled this year, there are still ways to support the wonderful vendors.

Izel Native Plants is a unique e-commerce store that solves the challenge of sourcing native plants. By combining the inventories of wholesale growers and nurseries from the east coast, Izel offers an unparalleled selection of plants sold in flats of plugs, quarts, and 3.5” pots. The website is user-friendly, informative, and allows for an easy checkout process. All orders are shipped from the grower directly to the customer. Trade and non-trade customers are welcome!

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.