N° 55 — May 26, 2021
Stay in touch as we celebrate Washington Youth Garden's 50th Anniversary. Enjoy our updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and WYG.
Lue Gim Gong was a Chinese American horticulturist and farmer who created a frost-resistant variety of Valencia orange still sold across America today. Photo from: Florida State Archives.
Asian American & Pacific Islander Legacies: Florida's "Citrus Wizard"
The frost-tolerant Valencia oranges we know today were created in the early 20th century by Lue Gim Gong, a Chinese American horticulturist and farmer. Lue immigrated to the United States when he was 12 and worked throughout the US before moving to Florida to work on a fruit orchard.

After a deep freeze in the winter of 1894-95 that killed almost all of the farm's trees, Lue focused his cross-pollination efforts on creating frost-resistant fruit trees.

Lue was recognized in 1911 for his successful cross of "Hart's Late" Valencia with "Mediterranean Sweet" in producing a new sweet, juicy orange variety resistant to severe cold weather. While this variety is officially known as "Lue Gim Gong", it is still sold today under the Valencia name.

When we can't have students in our Washington Youth Garden, we take the garden to them! In 2021, we've already distributed 1,800 Grow@Home kits to students across Washington, DC. We are well on our way to surpassing last year's total of 2,137 kits. These kits are a hands-on way for students to learn garden science from home, grow vegetables, and run their own experiments. The kits are given free of charge to students who attend Title 1 schools.

We have also hosted 42 virtual field trip lessons so far this year. Ehren, our Youth Programs Coordinator, teaches students in pre-K through 5th grade about the parts of a plant, pollination, nutrition, gardening, and agriculture. We're excited to continue teaching students garden science this year.
Conservation Corner
Located just south of the National Arboretum along the Anacostia River, Kingman and Heritage Islands are getting a makeover to "prioritize conservation and restoration of the natural ecology and focus on education opportunities" for visitors.

Bill Matuszeski, a FONA board member and active participant in many local conservation efforts, wrote an article in Hill Rag magazine sharing what this restoration means for the community and how you can get involved.

Photo from: Kingman & Heritage Islands
Strike a Pose
Stretch out and strike a pose with yoga at the National Arboretum, made possible in partnership with National Bonsai Foundation.

Join Bluebird Sky Yoga most Sundays through July for an hour of yoga in the Grove of State Trees.

Want a more accessible option? Join Give-a-Limb, Inc. for Yoga for Amputees, an hour and a half long session in the Grove of State Trees.

Share Your WYG Stories
What does Washington Youth Garden mean to you? We want to hear from you!

Help us celebrate our 50th birthday by sharing a story or sentiment that highlights your experience with Washington Youth Garden. Write your story, share your photos, or upload a short video answering this question and wishing Washington Youth Garden a happy birthday — we might feature your message in our birthday video!

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.
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