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ARE YOU CURIOUS BY NATURE?

FONA & THE ARBORETUM

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.

vintage photo of capitol columns

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.

students harvest carrots from the washington youth garden

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.

visitor center pond during the sunrise

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.

Membership

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.

Grow the Garden Campaign

Donate to help us renovate the Washington Youth Garden. This project will make the garden more engaging, accessible, and productive.

Other Ways to Support

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

GROW THE GARDEN: FENCE RENOVATION

We are renovating Washington Youth Garden’s perimeter fence as the next step in our Grow the Garden campaign.

Replacing the existing fence will:

  • Make the garden more inviting to youth and families
  • Create a visible, central entry point to the garden by adding a front entrance
  • Incorporate honeycomb elements to make the fence more visually interesting and engaging than the existing chain link fence
  • Continue to keep out deer, raccoons, and groundhogs
  • Expand the growing space

Donate today and together we can grow the garden! We have already secured $50,000 in grant funding for the fence renovation, and $60,000 in combined matching gifts for the campaign. To unlock these gifts, we must raise $60,000 from our community. Whether it’s $15, $50, or $500, every donation makes a difference.

*Donations are for the entire Grow the Garden campaign and do not count towards annual membership.

wyg garden redesign map

Click the map to view in full screen, or click here for a downloadable version.

Campaign Phases

FONA is committed to providing excellent youth education at the National Arboretum. Each phase of the Grow the Garden campaign helps us make the Washington Youth Garden more engaging, accessible, and productive for future generations.

Susan P Thompson

February 14, 2024

Amount Donated
$103

Katherine Benjamin

February 14, 2024

Amount Donated
$26

John Albert

February 14, 2024

Amount Donated
$52
in honor of Virginia A.

Leanna Fenske

February 14, 2024

Amount Donated
$26

Nancy Luria

February 14, 2024

Amount Donated
$103

Anonymous

February 14, 2024

Amount Donated
$5

Candy Kessel

February 14, 2024

Amount Donated
$26

Sofia Gardenswartz

February 5, 2024

Amount Donated
$11

Progress Toward $60K Matching Gift

January 12, 2024

Amount Donated
$48,906

Eric Hansen

December 31, 2023

Amount Donated
$250

Jan McCarthy

December 31, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Susan Chapin and Joel Cohen

December 29, 2023

Amount Donated
$1,878

Linda and John Derrick

December 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$5,000

Maura Nakahata

December 24, 2023

Amount Donated
$52
in honor of Eleanor S.

Jonathan Coopersmith

December 21, 2023

Amount Donated
$200

Niraj Ray

December 14, 2023

Amount Donated
$200

Elizabeth Dugan

December 8, 2023

Amount Donated
$325

Capitol Hill Community Foundation

December 7, 2023

Amount Donated
$3,000

John Sanford Kemper

December 7, 2023

Amount Donated
$250

Michael Bujold

December 7, 2023

Amount Donated
$15

Marcel LaFollette

December 6, 2023

Amount Donated
$258

Eric Michael

November 30, 2023

Amount Donated
$1,000

DAVID MOLLITOR

November 30, 2023

Amount Donated
$180

Luke Dickinson

November 30, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

John Healey

November 29, 2023

Amount Donated
$50

Carolyn Peery

November 29, 2023

Amount Donated
$155

Nadia Shebaro

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Craven Rand

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$5,150

Janet Nuzum

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Melissa Stahl

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Maura Allen

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Bernard Foster

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Catherine Robbins

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Inas Anderson

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$50
in honor of Brody Nathan M.

Marcel C. LaFollette

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Lee Coykendall

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Laurel Cullen

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$16

Hans Wien

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Dorothy Woodcock

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$1,030

Anonymous

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Michael Stevens

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$258

Ursula Kondo

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

withers horner

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Elissa Feldman

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

John Strand

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$309

Linda Lee

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Kay Glenday

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$250

Cecilia Carroll

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Angela Domanico

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$103
in honor of FONA S.

Austin Pedersen

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$21

Mary Frase

November 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Diann McGarvey

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$258

GAIL CHARNLEY ELLIOTT

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$1,236

Bill and Donna Roberts

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$1,030

Jeanne Connelly

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$100

Matthew McClellan

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$50

Lesley Conroy

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Nadia Mercer

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Maryam Trowell-McCloud

November 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$16

Kari Rowe

November 25, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Mark & Cindy Clark

November 16, 2023

Amount Donated
$500

Maura Allen

November 16, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

ellen mack

November 15, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Annetta Kushner

November 14, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Avis Black

November 14, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

JEAN LANGE

November 14, 2023

Amount Donated
$500

Joelle Gamble

November 4, 2023

Amount Donated
$50
in honor of Michelle & William.

Catherine Kerkam

November 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Harold Belcher

November 1, 2023

Amount Donated
$2,000

Brooke Breckenridge Morton

October 31, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Tuckie and Donald Westfall

October 31, 2023

Amount Donated
$2,000

Anonymous

October 28, 2023

Amount Donated
$25

Kathleen Horan

October 26, 2023

Amount Donated
$250

Kevin Garrahan

October 17, 2023

Amount Donated
$100
in memory of Ginger M.

Barbara Schmitt

October 5, 2023

Amount Donated
$52
in memory of Ginger M.

Megan Greenaway

October 4, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Margaret Strand

October 4, 2023

Amount Donated
$5,150

Richard Boyd

October 4, 2023

Amount Donated
$25

Caroline Angelo

October 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Ruth McDonald

October 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Julie Crudele

October 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Penny Morrill

October 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Anonymous

October 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$52

Judith Ritz

October 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$258

Anonymous

October 3, 2023

Amount Donated
$10,000

Tom Gavin

September 30, 2023

Amount Donated
$258

Linda Marks and Ralph Lopez

September 27, 2023

Amount Donated
$2,000

Nadia Mercer

September 13, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Maisha Martin

September 12, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Karen Rand

September 11, 2023

Amount Donated
$1,288

Tom Broderick

September 11, 2023

Amount Donated
$50

Kevin McIntosh

September 11, 2023

Amount Donated
$500

Joan Lunney

September 10, 2023

Amount Donated
$258

Luke Dickinson

September 10, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Pamela Raymont-Simpson

September 10, 2023

Amount Donated
$100

Richard Boyd

September 9, 2023

Amount Donated
$26

Dick Cecka

September 9, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

Patricia Nutter

September 9, 2023

Amount Donated
$103

mark buscaino

September 9, 2023

Amount Donated
$200

Stella Edosomwan

September 9, 2023

Amount Donated
$16

AWARD-WINNING EDUCATION PROGRAMS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

Forest Bathing

Other Activities

RECENT POSTS

Friends of the National Arboretum Instagram

Washington Youth Garden Instagram

FONA FIELD NOTES NEWSLETTER

Our award-winning weekly FONA Field Notes newsletter provides timely updates on the National Arboretum, FONA, and the Washington Youth Garden. See our all our past newsletter issues, in addition to our other publications and magazines, on our Publications & Media page.

flowering apricots in spring

Spring Event Guide

Spring is right around the corner! We have many exciting events and programs planned to…
witch hazel blooming in the winter

Holly Hour

How well do you know the American holly (Ilex opaca)? The National Arboretum has one…
white camellia blooming in winter in the Asian Collections

A Fond Farewell

Kevin Conrad, Acting Supervisory Horticulturist, retired earlier this month after 32 years of service to…
Gotelli conifer collection in snow

Stocking Up on Plants

The annual spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale may not be until April, but we…

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.


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Connect with the Arboretum through our FONA Field Notes newsletter

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