N° 202 — June 12, 2024

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

Arboretum Interns

The Arboretum recently welcomed its 2024 class of interns. Sixteen budding scientists and horticulturists will spend time this year working alongside Arboretum staff to gain hands-on, real-world experience. Interns will support projects ranging from germplasm research and archival studies, to horticultural maintenance in collections throughout the grounds.


This year's cohort hails from across the country and brings a diversity of experiences and interests to the program. FONA is funding seven of these internships this year, and is excited to support the next generation of horticulturists.

Interns toured the Arboretum's herbarium during their Orientation Day. Photo by the National Arboretum.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Last weekend, we kicked off summer at the National Arboretum with two fun-packed events. Hundreds of visitors and families stopped by the Washington Youth Garden for our picnic party on Saturday. It was incredible to see the garden come alive with people and activities as we celebrated the new fence and the donors who made it possible.


That same night, music from Wylder serenaded a sold out audience as the sun set over the Capitol Columns. Thank you to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and DC Department of Energy and Environment for supporting this event.

Thank you to everyone who joined us! We are grateful for the opportunity to host events like these that connect people to plants, nature, and each other. FONA is committed to making our events more accessible to everyone in our community, like through pay-what-you-can ticket options or free family events.


Please fill out our event survey if you attended either the Grow the Garden Party or the Wylder concert. We want to continue to improve these events and appreciate all the feedback you can provide.


Event Survey >

A FONA member recently used their membership card to receive free admission to the Morris Arboretum & Gardens in Pennsylvania.

Reciprocal Admissions

Whether you're planning a trip out of town this summer or looking for new local gardens to explore, being a FONA member has it's benefits. FONA members get reciprocal admissions and discounts at over 360 gardens and arboreta across the country. Eighteen of these institutions are in DC, Maryland, and Virginia alone! This is a member benefit through the American Horticultural Society's Reciprocal Admissions Program.


Whether its free admission, discounted programs or gift shop purchases, or free parking, the benefits of being a FONA member extend beyond the National Arboretum. Unlock this member benefit by becoming a FONA member or renewing your membership today.


See the List of Participating Gardens >

From the Field: Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight is a fungal disease that causes boxwood plants to lose their leaves prematurely. It has spread rapidly throughout North America since it was first detected in 2011, devastating the population of this ubiquitous landscaping plant.


Scientists across the United States, including those at the National Arboretum, have been working together to better understand, detect, and prevent against boxwood blight. Watch a short video update about some of the boxwood blight research projects the USDA Agricultural Research Service is conducting.


Watch the Video >

Photo by David L. Clement, University of Maryland, invasive.org

Photo by Anacostia Community Museum

From our Friends: Anacostia Community Museum

The Anacostia Community Museum is hosting a Juneteenth Freedom Celebration on Wednesday, June 19th from 10 AM to 5 PM. This free, day-long event will honor the present while also reflecting on shared traditions and history. There will be performances from five musical artists throughout the day. Registration is recommended.


Event Details & Registration >

Make sure to step inside the museum during the event to explore its latest exhibition, titled A Bold and Beautiful Vision: A Century of Black Arts Education in Washington, DC, 1900-2000. This exhibit shares the stories of the people who made Washington, D.C. an unparalleled center for Black arts education.


Learn about the Exhibit >

Photo by Michael Barnes via Smithsonian Magazine

Upcoming FONA Events

4th Fridays Summer Evening Hours

June 28, 5 PM - 8 PM

July 26, 5 PM - 8 PM

August 23, 5 PM - 8 PM

Arboretum grounds stay open to the public


Movie in the Meadow:

The Hidden Life of Trees

July 20, 8:45 PM - 10:30 PM

Outdoor movie in the Ellipse Meadow

Save the date — registration coming soon!


Community Fishing

August 24, 9 AM - 12PM

Free fishing along the Anacostia

Save the date — registration coming soon!


Dinner Under the Stars

September 17, 5:30 PM - 9 PM

Cocktails & tented dinner in the Meadow

Purchase a Ticket or Table >


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
202.544.8733
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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