EVENTS & PROGRAMS

WASHINGTON YOUTH GARDEN

Washington Youth Garden (WYG) is a one-acre education garden at the National Arboretum and is a destination for garden-based education and nature play. It was originally established in 1971 to teach local elementary students horticulture and life skills.

Today, Washington Youth Garden is a welcoming and inviting place for the DC community to learn and grow together. WYG’s sensory garden, innovative growing techniques, and nature-explore classroom encourage visitors of all ages to engage with agriculture, farming, and environmental education. Thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in WYG each year, all of which are distributed to students and families in the DC community to fight food insecurity.

Visit the Garden

The garden is open to all Arboretum visitors and has parking nearby. Please follow our three garden agreements during your visit:

  1. Stay on the path
  2. Pick with permission
  3. Respect all living things

Garden Events

We host many events open to the public throughout the year, such as School Garden Maintenance mornings, weekend Family Days, and our fall Garlic Planting Party. See our calendar for upcoming events in Washington Youth Garden.

Get Involved

Individual, group, and youth volunteers provide crucial help with gardening tasks such as weeding, planting, mulching, and pest control from April through mid-November. You don’t need prior experience, but you must be willing to make friends with the soil and the bugs! See our garden page to learn more.

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.

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Green Ambassadors developed new skills & addressed food insecurity in their communities

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educators engaged from 50 schools & organizations

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Grow@Home kits shared with DC students

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pounds of produce harvested & donated to local families

School Garden Support Program

The School Garden Support Program works with educators across DC to build strong, sustainable school garden programs. Our program empowers teachers to connect students to garden-based education through field trips in Washington Youth Garden, virtual classroom support, and professional development opportunities for DC educators.

Green Ambassador Program

The Green Ambassador Program (GAP) provides year-round employment and development opportunities for DC high school students. Youth enter the program in Farm Crew, progress to the Guild, and finally become Crew Leaders and alumni.

RECREATION PROGRAMS & PUBLIC EVENTS

We host recreation programs and public events that encourage a connection to nature, science, health, and wellness. Check out our calendar below to see what’s available.

Forest Bathing

Connect with nature while exploring the grounds. During this two-hour program, our certified forest bathing guides invite you to reflect on the world around you and guide you through focused meditations. See calendar below for dates and times, or buy a forest bathing gift card for someone else.

Photography Workshops

Hone your nighttime photography skills by learning through sunset and sunrise photo workshops at the National Arboretum. Learn from the experts and register for a class with Capital Photography Center.

Fitness Activities

Stay active at the Arboretum through summer yoga classes and the Summer and Fall 5K running races.

Interested in becoming a 5K sponsor? Check out our race sponsorship package to learn more!

Garden Fair & Plant Sale

The spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale takes place every year on the last weekend of April. Shop from thousands of plants and over 25 local gardening, lifestyle, and food vendors. You can also get advice from our expert gardeners and enjoy free family activities.

Fall Festival

The annual Fall Festival takes place in late September or early October. Visitors can stock up garden bulbs, shop at local vendors, and have fun with the family through free nature-based activities.

Winter Festival

Join us for the annual Winter Festival in early December. Visitors can buy Christmas trees and other holiday greenery, shop from over 25 local vendors, and enjoy free family activities.

DINNER UNDER THE STARS

Join us Tuesday, September 19th, 2022 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM for our 27th annual Dinner Under the Stars. Enjoy cocktails in the National Arboretum’s Ellipse Meadow and a tented dinner in view of the Capitol Columns. Spend a wonderful fall evening with colleagues, business leaders, and government representatives. The Dinner is a fantastic way to mix and mingle — senior staff and officials from Capitol Hill and the Administration will be invited, however attendance cannot be guaranteed.

VIRTUAL EVENTS

In our Digging In virtual event series, we host experts to discuss exciting topics pertaining to the National Arboretum’s mission.  As a FONA member, you can attend the events live and dig in with the experts.

Want to watch “Digging In” live?

CALENDAR

june

sat03jun8:00 amsat10:00 amSummer 5KRun or walk past blooming collections

sat03jun10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sun04jun4:15 amsun6:30 amSunrise Photography ClassWITH CAPITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER

tue06jun9:00 amtue12:00 pmYoga & Volunteering at WYGIn Washington Youth Garden

sat10jun10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sun11jun2:00 pmsun3:30 pmMusic in the Meadow: US Navy BandSummer Concert

sat17jun10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat17jun1:00 pmsat3:00 pmFather's Day Weekend Forest Bathing with SageReconnect with Nature

sat24jun10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

july

sat01jul10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat08jul9:00 amsat11:00 amForest Bathing with Sage & PaulReconnect with Nature

sat08jul10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat15jul10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat22jul10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat29jul10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

august

sat05aug10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat12aug10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat19aug10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat26aug10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

wed30aug5:45 pmwed8:45 pmSunset Photography ClassWITH CAPITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER

september

sat02sep10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat09sep10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat16sep10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

tue19sep5:30 pmtue8:30 pmDinner Under the Stars27th Annual Fundraiser

sat23sep9:00 amsat11:00 amFall Equinox Forest Bathing with Sage & PaulReconnect with Nature

sat23sep10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

fri29sep5:30 amfri7:45 amSunrise Photography ClassWITH CAPITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER

sat30sep10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

sat30sep10:00 amsat2:00 pmFall FestivalMore Info Coming Soon

october

sat07oct10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

mon09oct9:00 ammon11:00 amIndigenous Peoples' Day Forest Bathing with PaulReconnect with Nature

sat14oct10:00 amsat11:00 amBluebird Sky Yoga Class

fri27oct5:45 amfri7:45 amSunrise Photography ClassWITH CAPITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER

sat28oct10:00 amsat2:00 pmGarlic Planting PartyMore Info Coming Soon

november

sat11nov9:00 amsat11:00 amVeteran's Day Forest Bathing with Sage & PaulReconnect with Nature

sun12nov9:00 amsun12:00 pmFall 5KMore Info Coming Soon

mon27nov3:00 pmmon6:00 pmSunset Photography ClassWITH CAPITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER

december

sat02dec10:00 amsat2:00 pmWinter Festival & Christmas Tree SaleMore Info Coming Soon

sun03dec10:00 amsun2:00 pmChristmas Tree SaleMore Info Coming Soon

sun31dec9:00 amsun4:30 pmNew Year's Eve Forest Bathing with Nicole3 Special Events, tickets go on sale 8/1

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