Arboretum stays open until 8 PM on June 28, July 26, and August 23




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 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.


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.


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.

Thanks to our community, we have completed fundraising for Phase 2 of this campaign! With the help of 147 donors, we raised more than $173,000 in nine months to renovate the Washington Youth Garden’s perimeter fence. Donations ranged from $5 to $50,000, and every single one made a difference in helping us complete this project.

This new fence makes the garden more welcoming and engaging for all who visit the U.S. National Arboretum. A special thank you to our two generous anonymous donors who cumulatively provided $60,000 in matching donations for the campaign. Below is a list of supporters who have made this project possible. Thank you to all of the donors who made this project possible!

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.

wyg garden redesign map

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

The Washington Youth Garden's new fence features a yellow honeycomb design and front entrance gate.

The Washington Youth Garden’s new fence features a yellow honeycomb design and front entrance gate.

Thank you to all the donors who supported Phase II of the Grow the Garden campaign. These donors helped FONA renovate the Washington Youth Garden’s perimeter fence, construct new raised beds, and add new interpretive and wayfinding signs to the garden.


Estate of Frances M. Duttkin
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

$10,000 – $49,999

The Merow Fund

$1,000 – $9,999

Harold Belcher
Capitol Hill Community Foundation
Susan Chapin and Joel Cohen
Zandra and Dennis Chestnut
Linda and John Derrick
Elizabeth M. Dugan
Gail Charnley Elliott and E. Donald Elliott
John and Jean Lange
Rafael V. Lopez and Linda I. Marks
Eric Michael and Craig Kruger
Karen Rand
Craven Rand
Donna and William Roberts
Barbara and James Shea
Margaret Strand
Amy A. Titus
Tuckie and Don Westfall
Ken and Dorothy Woodcock

$100 – $999

Maura and David Allen
Mark Buscaino and Renuka Bery
Richard Cecka
Joyce Chandler
Bryan Chippeaux
Mark & Cindy Clark
Jeanne Connelly and Marty Scherr
Lesley Conroy
Jonathan Coopersmith
Lee Coykendall
Elizabeth Darlington
Beatrice Dermer
Charles Dhyse
Elissa Feldman and Joseph Tarantolo
Kevin Garrahan
Tom Gavin
Ian and Kay Glenday
Megan Greenaway
Eric Hansen
Kathy Horan
Sandy Kemper and Anne Gavin
Catherine P. Kerkam and Bryan M. Benitz, Jr.
Marcel C. LaFollette and Jeffrey K. Stine
Joan Lunney
Nancy Luria
Janet McCarthy
David and Diann McGarvey
Kevin and Marla McIntosh
Joan Melville-Kohls
Nadia Mercer
David and Rose Mollitor
Penny Morrill
Leandra Nichola and Adam Dorius
Patricia Nutter
Janet Nuzum and John Ziolkowski
Carolyn Peery and Bruce Haslam
Cultivate the City
Pamela Raymont-Simpson and Charles J. Simpson, Jr.
Judith Ritz
Elizabeth Rossman
Kari Rowe
Angela Domanico and Alan Rudan
John and Genevieve Sandoval
Louis and Nancy Slade
Michael G. Stevens
Lisa Weiss and John Strand
Susan P. Thompson
Nzinga Tull
Ruthie Mae Unkovic and John Reuben Unkovic
Jean Mitchell and Hans Wein
Ann Yuan

$1 – $99

Virginia and John Albert
Claire Alrich
Samantha Alvis
Inas Anderson
Kaifa Anderson-Hall
Caroline Angelo
Claire and David Benack
Katherine Benjamin
Avis Black
Richard Boyd
Janet and Thomas Broderick
Michael Bujold
Jingfei Cai-Pincus
Cecilia Carroll
Evan Cass and Allison Dickinson
Kathleen Gregory and Joseph Compofelice
Venita Alston Crawford
Julie H. Crudele
Laurel Cullen
Grace Denman
Luke Dickinson
Julia Diezdaux
Stella Edosomwan-Whitt
Leanna and Thomas Fenske
Bernard Foster
Mary Frase
Joelle Gamble
Sofia Gardenswartz
Alexis Hazen
John Healey and Richard Remigio
Wiz Horner
Candy Kessel
Nancy Khan
Ursula Kondo
Annetta Kushner
Kate LaTour
Linda Lee
Kara Lundberg
Ellen Mack
Katie Maloney
Maisha Martin
Matthew McClellan
Ruth McDonald
Anne McGarvey
Stefanie Miles
Jason Moon
Beth Moore
Courtney Morris
Brooke Breckenridge Morton
Maura Nakahata
Austin and Sarah Pedersen
Janani Perera
Melba Reed
Debbie Rider
Catherine Robbins
Barbara Schmitt
Leslie Sharp
Lauren Sharrock
Nadia Shebaro
Melissa Stahl
Allison Taylor and Ryan Mukherjee
Rick Thomas
Anthony Treubrodt
Maryam Trowell-McCloud
Samantha Trumbull
Mashari Tyson
Susan Waters
Felicia Weston
Kelley Wilson
Viona Zhang
Paula Zimmerman


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

Current Month

Other Activities

Current Month


Friends of the National Arboretum Instagram

Washington Youth Garden Instagram


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.

magnolia blooming in summer

Renovations & Reports

Pardon the dust! Earlier this week, the National Arboretum began renovating the circle garden in…
summer flowers bloom in the national herb garden

Arboretum Interns Arrive

The Arboretum recently welcomed its 2024 class of interns. Sixteen budding scientists and horticulturists will…
bee pollinating a flower in the national herb garden

Summer Event Guide

Summer is officially here! We are hosting many exciting events and programs this summer to…
koi pond outside the visitor center in summer

Marvelous Milestones

In honor of the 200th edition of FONA Field Notes, I want to personally thank each and…

Connect with the Arboretum through our FONA Field Notes newsletter

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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