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.

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 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.

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

march

sat25mar8:30 amsat3:30 pmUSNA Lahr Native Plant SymposiumMore Info Coming Soon

sat25mar9:00 amsat1:00 pmSpring into School GardeningMore Info Coming Soon

sat25marAll DayFONA Native Plant SaleMore Info Coming Soon

april

sat29aprAll DayGarden Fair & Plant SaleMore Info Coming Soon

september

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

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