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

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’. Each time, our nature and forest therapy guide will prompt you to reflect on a particular aspect of the natural world around you, give you time to wander and meditate throughout the garden collection, then reconvene the group to share reflections. Walks are held throughout the fall, including on New Year’s Eve.


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.

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.


We provide unique opportunities for people to connect with nature. 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. Each event explores new collections to highlight the Arboretum’s unique seasonal diversity. 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. See calendar below for dates and times.

Fitness Activities

Stay active at the Arboretum through yoga classes and seasonal 5K and 10K running races. See calendar below for dates and times.

summer flowers capitol columns

Bluebird Sky Yoga

Find your flow and get grounded in the Grove with yoga instructors from Bluebird Sky Yoga. This program is offered Sundays during the summer. Register on the Bluebird Sky Yoga site. All levels are welcome.


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?



sat03dec9:00 amsat11:00 amForest Bathing with SageReconnect with Nature

sat03dec10:00 amsat1:00 amSpringhouse Run Volunteer DayEnvironmental Conservation

sat03dec10:00 amsat4:00 pmChristmas Tree SaleBuy Holiday Greenery

wed07dec3:00 amwed5:45 amSunset Photography WorkshopWITH CAPITAL PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER

sat10dec9:00 amsat11:00 amForest Bathing with PaulReconnect with Nature

sat10dec10:00 amsat4:00 pmWinter FestivalHoliday Market, Tree Sale, Family Activities

sat31dec9:00 amsat4:30 pmNew Year's Eve Forest Bathing with Nicole3 Special Events

Use the filter function (above) marked with this icon to narrow down the list of events. Items in black do not have links yet.