N° 191 — March 27, 2024

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

Best Place to See Cherry Blossoms

As many flowering cherry trees along the Tidal Basin shed their flowers for leaves, as is happening right now, the Arboretum's cherry blossom season is still going strong. According to a recent Washington Post article, the best place to see cherry blossoms in DC isn't the Tidal Basin — it's the National Arboretum.

The article noted that the Arboretum's wider variety of flowering cherry trees, longer overall bloom time, and open green space sets the Arboretum apart from the Tidal Basin. Arboretum visitors get to experience more cherry blossoms throughout the entire spring, and have a better visitor experience while doing so.

The Arboretum's self-guided cherry blossom tour connects visitors to the horticulture and history behind the flowering cherry trees growing throughout the grounds. As the Washington Post article pointed out, "that connection to nature is what makes encountering cherry trees at the Arboretum different from the Tidal Basin or Hains Point."

Read the Washington Post Article >

Click map to view full size.

Spring Traffic Plan

The National Arboretum is implementing a temporary spring traffic plan beginning today, March 27th through mid-May. This impacts traffic flow and parking throughout the grounds. It creates one-way traffic flow on select roads, establishes a pedestrian walkway between the New York Avenue and R Street entrances, and allows on-street parking in key areas.

This temporary traffic plan helps make the Arboretum more safe and enjoyable for visitors during the busy spring season. For those who want to avoid crowds, we recommend visiting early on a weekend or on a week day.

Full Traffic Plan Details >

Garden Fair & Plant Sale

FONA's Garden Fair & Plant Sale is officially one month away on Saturday, April 27th! This event will feature thousands of plants for sale, expert gardening advice, 30+ local vendors (plant and vendor lists coming soon), raised bed workshop, and free family activities.

Photo by Marie Joabar

Tickets for the raised bed workshop, hosted by W.S. Jenks & Son, are officially on sale! This workshop is geared towards both urban and suburban gardeners. It will walk attendees through different raised bed construction methods. It will also offer advice on how conditions such as where you construct your raised bed, how you feed and water your plants, and soil conditions can impact your chances of success.

The workshop is offered during the Garden Fair from 11 AM to 12:30 PM and from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. Registration is required for this workshop, but please pay what you can to attend. Our suggested ticket price is $30 (or $24 for FONA members) to help us cover the costs of running this class.

Garden Fair Details & Registration >

Grow the Garden Update

The Washington Youth Garden's new perimeter fence continues to grow each week. The bright honeycomb facade makes the garden pop and stand out to visitors.

This new fence is a big part of WYG's redesign plan created in 2021 by Groundsmith Collective. Hughes Landscaping has helped us bring this custom fence project to life on the grounds of the Arboretum.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Grow the Garden campaign so far and helped make this fence a reality. Save the date for our Grow the Garden Party on Saturday, June 8th as we celebrate the fence's completion and thank our community for their support.

Learn More About the Campaign >

Weekend Wrap-Up

Thank you to everyone who joined us this past weekend in kicking off FONA's spring events! Heavy rain didn't stop hundreds of gardeners from attending our Native Plant Sale on Saturday. Over 550 racers enjoyed the Arboretum's spring flowers during Sunday's Flowering 5K. Special thank you to our 5K sponsors Abbott Klar Real Estate Group, Guidehouse, and DC Department of Energy and the Environment.

Proceeds from these events support both FONA and the National Arboretum. A portion of the revenue from the Native Plant Sale supports the Arboretum's native plant collections and the Lahr Native Plant Symposium.

Please fill out our event survey if you attended the Native Plant Sale and/or the Flowering 5K. We want to continue to improve these events and appreciate all feedback.

Event Survey >

About 30 educators picked up school garden supplies and attended a training during Sunday's Spring into School Gardening event at the Washington Youth Garden. Many thanks to our friends at UDC and the Master Gardeners for growing and distributing seedlings at this event.

Upcoming Events

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

April 27, 9 AM - 4 PM

Plants, vendors, workshop, free activities

Details & Registration >

Music in the Meadow: Cumbia Heights

May 17, 7 PM - 8:30 PM

Evening concert with alt-tropical vibes

Save the date — details to come

Grow the Garden Party

June 8, 11 AM - 1 PM

Celebrating the expansion of WYG

Save the date — details to come

Music in the Meadow: Wylder

June 8, 7 PM - 8:30 PM

Evening concert with modern folk vibes

Save the date — details to come

Fishing Nights & Extended Hours

Various dates and times

Fishing along the Anacostia River, Arboretum stays open until 8 PM instead of 5 PM

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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