Save the Date!
Birthday Party June 11, 11 AM - 1:30 PM
Evening Benefit June 12, 5:30 PM - 8 PM

Our summer professional development is the foundation for our school-year Educator Coaching Program.

Preference will be given to school teams with strong support from their administration and schools that send at least two team members.

Email Ashley at with any questions.

Apply today!  

Akilah Hartgrove shares a garden-based lesson that 2nd graders at EW Stokes Brookland campus enjoyed:

"As a FoodCorps member it is a lot of fun to work with a variety of different grades. A lesson I want to highlight is creating virtual pollinator beds during students' Biodiversity unit.

Students mapped out their own dream pollinator beds using a variety of flowers and implemented elements of design (height, color, contrast, compatibility, safety, etc.) to act as a landscape architect or designer for their school garden.

Flowers and designs chosen by students can then be planted in mid-May or later with seedlings or seeds for blooms in late Summer when students are coming back to school.

Because this lesson is done using a computer, it is very easy to replicate!"

Find the lesson slideshow here that Akilah graciously shared.

SPROUT is back and we've had our first nine field trips since 2019!

On the Pollination field trip students play the role of pollinator and enact the process of pollination in the form of a relay race, help hand-pollinate some of our crops, and visit our beehive to learn all about the farmer’s favorite pollinator and taste some of the honey produced on-site!

As the flower buds blossom and you see more pollinator activity in your yards or gardens, here are four K-5 Pollination activities you can do with your classes to take advantage of the seasons and reinforce your curriculum.

Written by members of FoodCorps' Service Member Action Committee, this free downloadable picture book can help teach kids about appreciating all body types in a way that celebrates food, identity, and culture.

1. Plant for Back to School harvests & lessons

These crops need plenty of water at first to germinate but once the plant is established, it will be okay with rain and mulch to keep the soil moist.

- Bush beans: approx 60 days to maturity from seed; will have mature bean pods for seed harvesting lessons/seed saving

- Melons: approx 80-100 days to maturity; needs a lot of space to spread

- Sunflowers: approx 90-120 days to maturity; there are dwarf varieties as well if looking for something not so tall

2. Mulch

Mulching will help retain moisture, suppress weed growth, and protect the soil during the summer. Vital when you have crops growing but also when there is nothing intentionally planted. Using straw, leaves, or other organic matter (not carbon-heavy woodchips) to layer on top of the bare soil will prepare a garden for fall planting upon returning from break!

3. Cover Crop

Selected plants that will cover and improve the soil rather than need continual harvesting to eat.

Cover crops help manage soil erosion, soil health, weeds, pests, and are low maintenance. Some summer cover crop options are:

- Sudangrass (grows tall & fun to shake when starting to bloom to illustrate wind pollination, left picture below ft. maze)

- Buckwheat (small white flowers, right picture below on the left)

- Sun hemp (clusters of yellow flowers, right picture below on the right)
by Alliance for a Healthier Generation
from Kohl's Healthy at Home
June 21-24

Can't make our Summer Institute this year, or looking for something virtual?

If you're just starting your school garden journey, join The Edible Schoolyard Project's training with sessions that explore the fundamentals of edible education.
We find a lot of resources like these through other garden-based newsletters we subscribe to. Receive the Children and Nature Network's newsletter below.
Come see us next time you're at the National Arboretum!
The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM - 5 PM except December 25th. Some buildings and collections remain closed to ensure visitor and staff safety.
Washington Youth Garden is the youth outreach and education branch of Friends of the National Arboretum. By supporting FONA, you support WYG connecting thousands of students each year to food, the land, and each other.
Did you receive this newsletter from a friend?