Friends of the National 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, DC. 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.

Since its beginning, FONA has raised funds for projects around the Arboretum like the Capitol Columns, Flowering Tree Walk, and Springhouse Run stream restoration. FONA also supports the Arboretum’s research, plant explorations, and collections maintenance.

Washington Youth Garden

Washington Youth Garden (WYG) is a one-acre fruit and vegetable garden on the grounds of the National Arboretum. It began in 1971 as part of a city initiative to encourage children living in under-resourced neighborhoods to cultivate and grow their own food. Today, WYG is a destination for garden-based education and nature play, and is an inviting place for the DC community to learn and grow together.


Partnership in Action

FONA has been the primary nonprofit partner of the U.S. National Arboretum for over 40 years. FONA supports the Arboretum by:

  • Providing youth education programs that connect the community with plants, science, and agriculture.
  • Hosting community events that encourage a connection to nature, wellness, science, and plant stewardship.
  • Promoting the Arboretum through FONA Field Notes, our award-winning weekly email newsletter, and through social media.
  • Advocating on behalf of the Arboretum with key partners, including city and federal officials to support critical improvement projects. 
  • Collaborating with the Arboretum on strategic priorities, operations, and events.
  • Providing discretionary funding — through private donations and venue rental revenue — for Arboretum operations, paid internships, and infrastructure projects.


FONA’s programs nurture a love of plants, nature, and the outdoors for the DC community and all who visit the National Arboretum. FONA’s programs include the School Garden Support Program, Green Ambassador Program, and Visitor & Volunteer Engagement Program. Many of these programs take place in the Washington Youth Garden, a one-acre education garden located on the grounds of the Arboretum. Our core values are at the heart of all of our programs.


D.C. high school Green Ambassadors honed skills & explored potential career paths


students visited the Washington Youth Garden on a field trip


people attended community events & programs



A connection to the land fosters the mental, physical, and spiritual wellness of individuals, communities, and the planet.


Experiential learning encourages creativity, strengthens problem-solving skills, and inspires lifelong curiosity and engagement.


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: we are stronger and more impactful when we work collaboratively with our fellow team members, other organizations, and the communities we serve.


We better meet the needs of our communities by strategically responding to our changing world.


We acknowledge the history and harms of systemic racism and recognize our duty to take action to support the reconnection of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) to the land.


Amplifying underrepresented voices by creating space for constructive conversations and actions ensures universal access to the Arboretum and its resources.


Sharing joy through our work connects us with others and creates positive change.


Craven Rand staff photo

Craven Rand

Executive Director

Claire Broderick staff photo

Claire Broderick

Operations Manager

Caryn Sykes staff photo

Caryn Sykes


Cathy Kerkam staff photo

Cathy Kerkam

Director of Philanthropy and Communications

Bea Trapasso Dermer staff photo

Beatrice Trapasso Dermer

Director of Foundation and Government Relations

Anne McGarvey staff photo

Anne McGarvey

Marketing & Communications Manager

Claire Alrich staff photo

Claire Alrich

Development Officer

leandra nichola staff photo

Leandra Nichola

Membership Manager

Brianne Studer staff photo

Brianne Studer

Director of Programs

Susan Chapin staff photo

Susan Chapin

Director of Community Events

Allie Arnold staff photo

Allie Arnold

School Garden Program Manager

Ashley Rattanawan staff photo

Ashley Rattanawan

School Garden Program Manager

emilia kawashima staff photo

Emilia “Emi” Kawashima

Garden Manager

mariyah whitley staff photo

Mariyah Whitley

Program Manager

max skoglund staff photo

Max Skoglund

Volunteer Coordinator & Garden Educator

mykaela brevard staff photo

Mykaela Brevard

School Garden Support Educator

Xavier Bure staff photo

Xavier Bure Quijano

Garden Manager

Cheryl Wojnar staff photo

Cherri Wojnar

Garden Educator

Erin Close staff photo

Erin Close

Demonstration Garden Assistant

sara fogarty staff photo

Sara Fogarty

Event Coordinator

Qubilah Huddleston

Assistant Garden Coordinator


Michael Stevens, Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District
Board Chair

Martha Van Dale, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
Vice Chair

Virginia Kromm, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Treasurer

John Dillard, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz P.C

Robert Bartlett Jr., The F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Co.
Mark Buscaino, Casey Trees
Zandra Chestnut, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens
John Cooney, Venable LLP, retired
Elizabeth M. Dugan, MD, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
Chandler Goule, National Association of Wheat Growers
Jennifer Hatcher, Food Marketing Institute
Anne MacMillan, Invariant, Food and Agriculture Practice
Bill Matuszeski, Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia Citizens Advisory Committees
Eric Michael, Occasions Caterers, retired
Vaughn Perry, Building Bridges Across the River
Melissa Pflieger
Lucy S. Rhame
Catherine Robbins, Vault Consulting
Keith Sellars
Barbara Shea, Founding President, Casey Trees
Lou Slade, Gorove Slade Associates
Peggy Strand, Venable LLP, retired
Amy Titus, Deloitte
Nzinga Tull, Jackson and Tull
Tuckie Westfall, KraftHeinz, Director of Federal Government Affairs, retired


Our David Fairchild Society commemorates the work of David Fairchild, who spent his life exploring the world, collecting plants, and sharing them throughout America and the world. He brought us many plants and foods that are staples in American culture, such as ornamental cherry trees and Meyer lemons.  Learn more on our Support page.

Donor list as of December 31, 2023

David Fairchild $50,000+

Robert and Kate Bartlett

Azalea $25,000

Betty and Alex Boyle
Lynne H. Church
Linda and John Derrick
Lucy S. Rhame

Boxwood $10,000

Megan Browdie
Susan Chapin and Joel Cohen
Elizabeth Goodman
Colien Hefferan and Hollis Summers
Eric Michael and Craig Kruger
John and Melissa Pflieger
Carole Redman
Barbara and James Shea
Margaret Strand
Amy A. Titus
Tuckie and Don Westfall
Ken and Dorothy Woodcock

Magnolia $5,000

Dianne Bradley
Elizabeth M. Dugan
Karen and Dan DuVal
Miriam Gitler
Liza and Andrew Labadie
Rafael V. Lopez and Linda I. Marks
Bill Matuszeski and Mary Procter
Tuuli Mooney-Schindler
Peter and Jainel Morris
Jacqueline E. Pechmann
Craven Rand
Nancy and Robert Shoemaker
Beth Wehrle

Crapemyrtle $2,500

Barry L. Abel
Harold Belcher
Constance Carter
Bonnie and Louis Cohen
Sally Donner and Kenneth Briers
Frank Guzzetta and Paul Manville
Lynne Horning
Marcel C. LaFollette and Jeffrey K. Stine
John and Jean Lange
Anne MacMillan and Tim Bass
Kevin and Marla McIntosh
Anita Menghetti
Catherine Casey Nottingham
Karen S. Rand
Lauren Richardson
Michael G. Stevens

Holly $1,200

Marion S. Ballard
Sydney and Blake Bath
Suzie and Rich Bissell
Wendy Blair
Deborah E. Bowles and Derik Burgess
Nancy and John Bryson
Zandra and Dennis Chestnut
Vincent Chiappinelli and Suzy Bakshian
Diana Clagett
Eli Cohen
Marjorie Corwin
Martha Van Dale
Gail Charnley Elliott
Leanna and Thomas Fenske
Diana and Peter Ferris
Charles and Linda Findlay
Joseph and Agatha Francis
Barbara W. Gould
Chandler Goule
Bean Granger
Robin and Jay Hammer
Lindsay Shea Hardesty
Jennifer and Christopher Hatcher
Betsy and Bob Huffman
James Hughes
William Inglee and Jane Madden
Missy Janes
Sheldon and Audrey Katz
Virginia Kromm and Joe Shultz
Annetta H. Kushner
Jennifer Levin
John C. MacMillan, Jr. and Emily Stopa
Sara Mills Mazie
David and Rose Mollitor
Penny Morrill
Mary Eugenia and Theodore Myer
Shirley and Frank Nicolai
Elizabeth L. Nottingham
Maureen Orth
Heather Paradise
Pamela Raymont-Simpson and Charles J. Simpson, Jr.
Catherine Robbins
Liz Shriver and Jon Blake
Louis and Nancy Slade
Kim and John Snedden
Luise Strauss
Edward Szrom and John Geiger
Allison Taylor and Ryan Mukherjee
Robert and Ann Thompson
Nzinga Tull
John and Val Wheeler
Patricia Woolsey and Luke Waren
Helena Zinkham

Supporter list as of December 31, 2023.

With appreciation to those who have made a provision in their estate planning for FONA:

Anonymous (12)
Harold Belcher
Daragh Cassidy
Regina Chua
Lynne H. Church
Ann Fessenden Clymer†
John F. Cooney
Robert C. Daniels, Jr. & Richard R. Beman, Jr.
Frances Duttkin†
Edith N. K. Meyer†
Judith A. Hecht
Mandy Hursen
Dorothy Kidder†
Herman W. Koch & Rosalie Martin Koch†
Frederick G. Meyer†
Susan H. Robeson†
Michael G. Stevens


Thank you to the following foundations and government partners who support FONA’s mission and programs, in particular the Washington Youth Garden.

Donor list as of December 31, 2023.


The Burpee Foundation
Capitol Hill Community Foundation
Charles H. Miller Foundation
Congressional Sports for Charity
DECK Foundation
Dimick Foundation
Humanities DC
International Paper Foundation
Jean T. and Heyward G. Pelham Foundation
Kay Family Foundation
Mars Foundation
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Nora Roberts Foundation
Stewart R. Mott Foundation
Venable Foundation
William H. Donner Foundation


DC Department of Health
DC Department of Parks and Recreation
DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program
Mayor’s Office on African-American Affairs
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA
Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, USDA
University of the District of Columbia

Thank you to all the supporters for the 28th Annual Dinner Under the Stars, to be held on September 17th, 2024! Interested in sponsoring or attending this event? Learn more at our Dinner page.

Sponsor list as of July 11, 2024

Scarlet Oak $50,000

Robert and Kate Bartlett/Bartlett Tree Experts

bartlett tree experts logo

Lacebark Pine $10,000

Margaret Strand

Red Maple $5,500

Agri-Pulse Communications
Corn Refiners Association
Farm Credit Council
FMI — The Food Industry Association
National Association of Wheat Growers
Platform for Agriculture + Climate Transformation
U.S. Beet Sugar Association

Flowering Cherry $3,500

American Seed Trade Association
Congressional Federal Credit Union
Marcel C. LaFollette and Jeffrey K. Stine
National Association of Conservation Districts
Amy A. Titus
Torrey Advisory Group
USA Rice Federation

Flowering Dogwood $1,200

Pheasants Forever

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


us national arboretum logo
the national bonsai foundation logo
the herb society of america logo

Potomac Unit

national capitol area garden clubs logo