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.
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.
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 Native Plant Sale supports the Arboretum’s annual Lahr Native Plant Symposium.
We developed a new Core Master Plan that provides a blueprint for future projects around the Arboretum. We invest in the future of horticulture through 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.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS — WASHINGTON YOUTH GARDEN
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.