Lahr Native Plant Symposium & Plant Sale
Saturday, March 25th
Save the date for the annual Lahr Native Plant Symposium, hosted by the U.S. National Arboretum, and Native Plant Sale, hosted by FONA. More information about both events coming soon.
Garden Fair & Plant Sale
Saturday, April 29th
Save the date for our annual spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale! Prepare your garden for the year with our fantastic array of plants, vendors, and expert gardening advice. More information coming soon.
Various dates & times
Let us guide you in disconnecting from the digital world and reconnecting with nature during this mindfulness experience. Our forest bathing walks consist of three ‘invitations’ that prompt you to reflect and meditate on a particular aspect of the natural world as you explore a collection.
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:
- Stay on the path
- Pick with permission
- Respect all living things
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.
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.
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.
Green Ambassadors developed new skills & addressed food insecurity in their communities
educators engaged from 50 schools & organizations
Grow@Home kits shared with DC students
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.
Our field trips take place in Washington Youth Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum. Field trips are 90 minutes long and explore a specific garden theme in an exciting and interactive way.
Bring garden science into your classroom or home with our Grow@Home activity kit, Virtual Farm Field Trips, and curated online learning resources.
Our professional development opportunities train teachers and school staff to make garden-based education a part of daily life in schools.
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.
Participants begin GAP in the Farm Crew, a six-week paid summer internship where they learn hands-on skills such as gardening, cooking, and carpentry as well as interpersonal skills like communication and collaboration.
Participants then continue the program through the Guild, a paid internship during the academic year to apply skills they learned during Farm Crew.
After participating in the Farm Crew and Guild internships, Green Ambassadors are invited to mentor incoming Farm Crew participants, deepen their knowledge through garden internships, and broaden connections through an alumni network.
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.
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.
Stay active at the Arboretum through summer yoga classes and the Summer and Fall 5K running races.
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.
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.
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 8:30 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.
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.
Use the filter function (above) marked with this icon to narrow down the list of events. Items in black do not have links yet.