N° 198 — May 15, 2024

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

As of today, the National Arboretum's temporary spring traffic plan has ended. All parking and traffic patterns return to normal.

Grow the Garden Update

Have you heard the news? The Washington Youth Garden's new perimeter fence is complete! This new fence is everything we've dreamed of, and it really makes the garden pop. The yellow honeycomb design catches the eye of everyone passing by, and the new front entrance welcomes visitors into the space. Plus, the new fence has added another 1/3 acre of growing space to the Washington Youth Garden!

To celebrate the new fence and all the donors and work that made this project possible, we are hosting a Grow the Garden Party on Saturday, June 8th from 11 AM to 1 PM. All are welcome to join! This is a free event in the Washington Youth Garden that is open to the entire community.

There will be hands-on garden and art activities, live music from East of the River Steel Band, local food trucks, and more. Bring a blanket and a picnic, or enjoy lunch from one of the food truck vendors. Tickets are not required, but registration is encouraged to receive important event updates.

Party Details & Registration >

We would not have been able to complete Phase II of our Grow the Garden campaign without the incredible support of FONA's community. Thank you to all the donors who helped make this project a reality. We hope to see you at the party to celebrate your contribution!

Arboretum Job Openings

The National Arboretum is hiring two new Agricultural Science Research Technicians (ASRTs) at the GS 5 to 7 levels. These ASRTs will assist with the maintenance, development, and research relating to a variety of woody and herbaceous plants. The positions are located on the Arboretum's main campus in Washington, DC. Apply today! Applications close on Thursday, May 16th.

Learn More & Apply >

Music in the Meadow

Don't miss our Music in the Meadow concert with Cumbia Heights this Friday, May 17th from 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Enjoy a picnic in the Ellipse Meadow while listening and dancing to alt-tropical music!

Please pay what you can to attend this event. Our suggested ticket price is $25 (or $20 for FONA members). Children 12 and under are free, but tickets are required.

Tickets are going fast, and registration is required to enter the grounds on May 17th. Only the Ellipse Meadow and the National Herb Garden will be open to attendees.

Concert Details & Tickets >

Photo by Kelsey Cochran

New Faces at FONA

We are excited to welcome some new and returning members to FONA's team! Many joined the team in April, and have been busy in their full time or seasonal roles.

Cherri Wojnar returns to FONA as a Garden Educator, primarily supporting SPROUT field trips. After retiring as a dietitian at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Cherri combined her passion for gardening, nutrition, and education and began volunteering at the Washington Youth Garden leading SPROUT trips. This led to a Garden Education Internship and seasonal staff position. When not in WYG, she enjoys gardening at home, propagating plants, and making soap.

Erin Close is happy to be back at FONA for a second season as the Garden Assistant. Erin also works at Owl's Nest Farm, a worker-owned veggie farm in Upper Marlboro, MD. She cares deeply about social justice and food access, and loves to connect with others around food.

Leandra Nichola returns to FONA as Membership Manager. Since moving to DC from the Toronto area almost two decades ago, she has been focused on community building work in the legal, non-profit, alternative education, and hospitality worlds. She is excited to be returning to FONA after working here 15 years ago in a similar role! Outside of work, you'll find Leandra walking in the woods, hanging with dogs, slinging drinks behind the bar, enjoying live music, or exploring a nearby main street.

Sara Fogarty joins FONA as an Event Coordinator, where she assists with private events, including weddings, at the Arboretum. She is originally from New Jersey and first moved to DC to attend George Washington University. She stayed after graduating because of how much she loved DC! She is excited to work with FONA and loves to see how the already beautiful space can transform to host events.

From our Friends: Herb Society of America

Members of the Herb Society of America's Mid-Atlantic units will host an Under the Arbor event in the National Herb Garden on Saturday, May 18th from 1 PM to 4 PM. Members will highlight herbs associated with Greek mythology, the theme of this year's entrance display in the National Herb Garden.

This is a free, informal, drop-in educational program that is open to the public.

Learn More >

Extended Evening Hours

The first extended evening hours of 2024 were a hit! We're excited to offer more opportunities, as possible, to keep the Arboretum open past 5 PM. The next extended evening hours will be on Sunday, June 2nd, and the grounds will remain open until 8 PM.

What days of the week would you like to see extended evening hours? Multiple votes are allowed.

Upcoming FONA Events

Music in the Meadow: Cumbia Heights

May 17, 7 PM - 8:30 PM

Evening concert with alt-tropical vibes

Purchase a Ticket >

Extended Evening Hours

June 2, 5 PM - 8 PM

Arboretum grounds stay open to the public

Grow the Garden Party

June 8, 11 AM - 1 PM

Celebrating the expansion of WYG with activities, face painting, food trucks, & more

Details & Registration >

Music in the Meadow: Wylder

June 8, 7 PM - 8:30 PM

Evening concert with modern folk vibes

Save the date — details to come

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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