N° 190 — March 20, 2024

Enjoy regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.

The National Arboretum is implementing a temporary spring traffic plan beginning on Wednesday, March 27th through mid-May. This will impact traffic flow and parking throughout the grounds.

Check our Website for Full Details >

Arboretum Awards

Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Pooler and Dr. Todd Rounsaville, Arboretum staff, for each receiving a Northeast Area Employee Recognition Program Award from the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Dr. Pooler received the Research Leadership and Center Directorship Award for "outstanding leadership to her research unit and the Agency through the Research Leader Advisory Council."

Dr. Rounsaville and nine other scientists on the Plant Hardiness Zone Map Team received the Technology Transfer Award. This accolade recognizes the team's "excellence in technology transfer, reaching millions so quickly and in communicating brilliantly the ARS mission relating to production practices tied to a changing climate."

Above, Dr. Magaret Pooler (photo by Plume Photography) and below, Dr. Todd Rounsaville (photo courtesy of the National Arboretum).

Photos courtesy of the National Arboretum

Native Plants Abound

Did you know April is Native Plant Month in Washington, DC? FONA and the Arboretum are hosting two events this weekend to help you prepare your garden for native plants:

37th Annual Lahr Native Plant Symposium

Saturday, March 23 | 9 AM - 4 PM

Join the U.S. National Arboretum for seven engaging presentations concerning both native plant gardens and native ecosystems. Learn about soil health management, destructive pests, forest restoration, current research on seed conservation, and the best native trees for your garden.

Registration closes at midnight tonight, March 20th. Tickets costs $95 and include lunch (FONA members, use your discount code to receive 20% off).

Learn More & Register >

Native Plant Sale

Saturday, March 23 | 8 AM - 1 PM

Stock up on native plants for your garden at one of the earliest plant sales in the area. This year's Native Plant Sale will host more vendors than ever before. Shop spring ephemerals and other choice perennials and woody plants. Here's who will be there:

Get there early to buy your plants — vendors may leave when their inventory is sold out. Plant-sitting is available, but please bring your own boxes, wheeled cart, or wagon to transport your plants back to your car.

Register to let us know you're coming and to receive important event updates.

Learn More & Register >

School Garden Training

Educators, jump-start your school garden's spring growing season with supplies and knowledge from the Washington Youth Garden. Join us for Spring into School Gardening this Sunday, March 24th from 12 PM to 1:30 PM (this event was originally scheduled for March 23rd, but has moved to the rain date).

Attendees can take home free supplies like straw mulch, compost, seeds, and seedlings, attend a training on garden planning and preparation, and network with other educators. While this event is free and open to all educators, some garden supplies are reserved for DC schools with a limited capacity and budget for garden programming.

Learn More & Register >

Join FONA's Team

Don't miss your chance to apply to join FONA's team! We are hiring for the following position:

Event Coordinator >

This part-time seasonal position will implement FONA's venue rental program and community events. The position requires mostly weekend work with the occasional weekday shift. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and is expected to start in April 2024.

Photo by Leo Moser

Forest Bathing Walks

Registration is now open for our spring forest bathing walks. These events encourage you to slow down and open your senses to nature at the National Arboretum. Certified nature and forest therapy guides lead these meditation and mindfulness experiences.

Registration is required for each event, but please pay what you can to attend. Our suggested ticket price is $35 (or $28 for FONA members), and covers what we pay our guides, snacks for participants, and staff time to organize these events.

See Upcoming Walks & Register >

Upcoming Events

Native Plant Sale

March 23, 8 AM - 1 PM

Local native plant vendors, hosted by FONA

Details & Registration >

37th Annual Lahr Native Plant Symposium

March 23, 9 AM - 4 PM

Native plant symposium hosted by USNA

(Members use your discount code)

Details & Registration >

Spring into School Gardening

March 24, 12 PM - 1:30 PM

Free resources for educators, in WYG

Details & Registration >

Flowering 5K

March 24, 9 AM

Race registration sold out, volunteers needed

Sign Up to Volunteer >

Volunteer Open House

April 6, 10 AM - 12 PM

Learn about FONA's volunteer opportunities

Details & Registration >

Youth Poetry Slam in the Garden

April 6, 2 PM - 4 PM

Youth poetry competition in WYG

Details & Registration >

Garden Fair & Plant Sale

Saturday, April 27, 9 AM - 4 PM

Plants, vendors, workshop, free activities

Details & Registration >

Bonsai Basics: Chrysanthemum Bonsai

May 4 - November 2, 5 classes

Hands-on workshop hosted by USNA

(Members use your discount code)

Details & Registration >

Forest Bathing Walks

Various dates and times

Meditation and mindfulness

Upcoming Dates & Registration >

The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM except December 25th.

Check Our Website for Full Details >

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Friends of the National Arboretum
3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
FONA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization with the mission to preserve and enhance a vibrant public space and support experiential programming that instills a love of plants, nature and the outdoors in all who visit, while promoting the overarching research and education mission of the U.S. National Arboretum.

Since its inception, FONA has helped support the Washington Youth Garden, Capitol Columns, Flowering Tree Walk, horticultural and research internships, restoration of Springhouse Run, and much more.

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