JULY 7, 2020
Please enjoy our regular updates and insights from FONA, the U.S. National Arboretum, and our award-winning Washington Youth Garden.
Check our website before visiting for up-to-date information about procedures to ensure staff and visitor safety.
2019 Green Ambassador interns worked with members of the Youth Garden team to prepare raised beds for crops.
Eight G reen Ambassadors return this week to start their paid summer internships. The Green Ambassador Program offers DC teens a chance to increase their understanding and leadership around food, agriculture, and the environment.

This year's program focuses on food justice and access, balancing virtual learning and professional development with hands-on, small group garden work.
From the Field: Rose Rosette
Rose rosette disease (RRD) threatens the $400 million rose industry, rose collections, and roses in public and private gardens. RRD is caused by rose rosette virus (RRV) and is transmitted from plant to plant by an eriophyid mite. Most infected plants die within 1-3 years which has resulted in the death of millions of roses across the country.
U.S. National Arboretum scientists Dr. John Hammond and Dr. Ramon Jordan are developing reliable and fast serological (antibody-based) tests for detecting the virus; in addition, they are studying virus-mite and virus-host interactions, as well as RRV co-infection with other commonly occurring viruses that affect roses.
Dr. John Hammond (USNA) inspects a rose bush with rose rosette disease in the research fields. Photo courtesy of Sue Bentz.
National Collections
Ever wonder why some of the National Arboretum's collections are designated as 'National Collections' ? These collections are reservoirs of diverse plant genetics and are accessible for breeding and research. The Arboretum's maple and boxwood collections already have this title, and the magnolia collection will soon follow suit.

The Arboretum is a critical partner with the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) in protecting the genetic material of economically important plants.

Arboretum Additions
The National Arboretum has recently hired several new Agricultural Science Research Technicians.

We are excited to have them on board as they are critical to keeping the collections and gardens looking beautiful, up-to-date, and safe for the public to visit.

Funder Highlight: USDA Farm to School
FONA is excited to announce that Washington Youth Garden is a recipient of the USDA Farm to School grant award!

This grant allows us to provide technical assistance and individualized support to 10 teachers who complete the upcoming Summer Institute for Garden-Based Teaching . Selected teachers will work with WYG staff during the 2020-21 school year to improve garden-based education or healthy food options at their schools.

The support of the USDA Farm to School Program brings us closer to our vision that school gardens and healthy, local food are a fundamental part of each school, led by the school community, and integrated into a school’s culture and learning environment.

We are grateful for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's generous support!