Your seasonal picks are here! Please enjoy our quarterly resources picked just for you and your school garden by our Washington Youth Garden team, the youth education branch of Friends of the National Arboretum.

Join Washington Youth Garden next week on August 10-11 from 9 AM to 4 PM for our Summer Intensive. This two-day training at our garden will help you program your Agriculture, Food, and Environmental education plan for next year and develop other school garden skills.

Unable to join us for this year's Summer Intensive? Webinars from last year's Summer Institute are a great resource for planning your school garden team and efforts for this year!

This series of five webinars is available all year long and includes corresponding documents for setting goals for your school garden program, a curriculum planner, and a garden checklist.

More webinars are coming soon thanks to our partnership with FRESHFARM FoodPrints and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education!

Want to improve your gardening technique? Interested in receiving some seedlings from WYG to plant in your school garden? Need seed, cover crop, or straw to kick start your fall garden?

Join us Saturday, September 11th at 9 AM for a morning of gardening techniques and gathering with other school gardeners from around the city. We'll also have seedlings and other resources for you to take back to your school garden!
We also often send out information and opportunities like free seedling availability on the Sprout It Out Teachers listserv, so check it out! Click on the link to request to join the group or send an email to

Brassicas — like kale, collards, radishes, cabbage, and beyond — are one of our favorite plant families to grow as we enter cooler seasons. In this region, lots of pests love the brassica family, especially the white cabbage moth. If brassicas in your garden are starting to look a little picked over, we recommend pulling out the plant and starting over with a fresh crop in another month or so.

Refer to WYG’s 6 Seasons of the School Garden maintenance calendar for more garden tasks during peak summer (August).

This is a good time to begin planning your fall garden, too. Want a simple spreadsheet to plan and track your school garden’s annual fruits and vegetables?

This spring, the United States Botanic Garden, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and City Blossoms released a new school garden guide for educators. “Growing Strong: A Comprehensive Guide to Support All School Garden Programs in the District” includes information on:  
  • Starting a new school garden
  • Maintaining an existing school garden
  • Providing high-quality garden-based instruction

We highly recommend pages 15-17 for anyone planning their own school garden activities and looking for curricula.

We're thrilled to welcome Ashley Rattanawan as our School Garden Education Coach. She got her start in education in the traditional classroom and has taught Environmental Science as well as elementary school in the DC area. She has also worked in a number of diverse roles from AmeriCorps to non-profit education, where she discovered her passion for using the city as her classroom and for the power of experiential learning.

Ashley is committed to inspiring others through hands-on education and is proud to join FONA in continuing this work in the DC community. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys crafting projects, adventuring with her D&D group, and walking her dog, Mango.

Ashley will be focused on supporting our Educator Coaching Program and Professional Development Programs.
Come see us next time you're at the National Arboretum!
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.
Washington Youth Garden is the youth outreach and education branch of Friends of the National Arboretum. By supporting FONA, you support WYG connecting thousands of students each year to food, the land, and each other.
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