Enjoy the Arboretum in full summer swing while running or walking the course




Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) was founded in 1982 as an independent 501(c)(3). FONA serves as the primary private partner of the U.S National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. We preserve and enhance this vibrant public space and facilitate experiential programs that instill a love of plants, nature, and the outdoors in all who visit the Arboretum. We also promote the overarching research and education mission of the Arboretum.

Past Accomplishments

We were instrumental in bringing the Capitol Columns to the Arboretum in the early ’90s. We funded the Flowering Tree Walk surrounding the meadow so all people can enjoy its beauty regardless of ability. Our volunteers planted over 30,000 native plants along the Springhouse Run creek to improve the Anacostia River’s water quality.

Current Work

Our Washington Youth Garden is the Arboretum’s largest community outreach program. Revenue from our venue rental program funds the Arboretum Director’s Fund which pays for things like consultants, supplies, and building maintenance projects. Our plant sales and fairs support our mission and connect visitors to the Arboretum.

Future Plans

We developed a new Core Master Plan that provides a blueprint for future projects around the Arboretum. We invest in the future of horticulture by funding internships that support the collections. Our Meyer Kidder Fellows will increase the Arboretum’s research capacity and connect the Arboretum with world-class post-doctoral researchers.

Share the gift of the Arboretum

General Online Donations

Support FONA with a gift of any amount.


Become a FONA member starting at $45 and receive exclusive perks.

David Fairchild Society

A passionate community of supporters with membership starting at $1,200.

Other Ways to Support

Support FONA through securities, donor-advised funds, planned giving, bench donations, and more.


With a focus on serving under-resourced communities, FONA nurtures curious minds and healthy bodies by connecting youth to food, the land, and each other. Our youth education programs take place at Washington Youth Garden on the grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum and in partner schools across Washington, DC. They work with DC educators to create strong, sustainable school garden programs and connect students to garden education. Our programs also provide year-round employment opportunities and green career paths for DC high school students.

Learn about our education programs & Washington Youth Garden


Forest Bathing

Other Activities


Friends of the National Arboretum Instagram

Washington Youth Garden Instagram


Summer Event Guide

Enjoy summer at the National Arboretum! We’re collaborating with lots of local partners to host…

Planting Trees for Ukraine

Last week, the National Arboretum and U.S. Department of Agriculture welcomed special guests from Ukraine…

Fighting Pests Through Genetics

The National Arboretum recently released two new hemlock hybrids into the American nursery industry. Tsuga ‘Traveler’ and Tsuga ‘Crossroad’ are both resistant…

Connect with the Arboretum through our FONA Field Notes newsletter

Sign up to receive FONA Field Notes

When you sign up for our mailing list, you will receive regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Friends of the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, https://www.fona.org. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Connect with the Arboretum through our FONA Field Notes newsletter