Unique outdoor events, all summer long




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 $35 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.


FONA is thrilled to congratulate Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young on her confirmation as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this new role, she will serve in the highest scientific post at the USDA in support of our nation’s agricultural needs and will be the first woman of color in this position.

Dr. Jacobs-Young has long advocated for a productive partnership between FONA and the U.S. National Arboretum in her previous role as Administrator of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and has played an important role in advancing our collaboration. FONA thanks her for her longstanding support and is excited for her continued leadership.

From left: Eyang Garrison, Kellie Adesina, Under Secretary Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh, Zhulieta Willbrand.


For 50 years, Washington Youth Garden, the youth outreach and education branch of Friends of the National Arboretum, has provided hands-on education to connect youth to food, the land, and each other.

Now we are celebrating Washington Youth Garden’s successes and the people who have made it what it is today by investing in three key components to continue engaging children, families, and teachers in garden education for the next 50 years.

Learn about our anniversary projects


Forest Bathing

Other Activities


Friends of the National Arboretum Instagram

Washington Youth Garden Instagram



Summer Magic

Our garden team has harvested 2,760 pounds of produce from Washington Youth Garden so far this year! That’s…

For the Love of Trees

Take a walk through plant evolution with Dr. Richard Olsen, Director of the National Arboretum,…

LGBTQ Legacies

J.C. Raulston not only founded the arboretum at North Carolina State University that now bears…

Celebrating Together

Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating Washington Youth Garden’s 50th anniversary last…

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Connect with the Arboretum through our FONA Field Notes newsletter