N° 154 — June 14, 2023

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

Spring Field Trips

Each school year, DC students aged pre-kindergarten through middle school visit the Washington Youth Garden on field trips. While FONA staff lead many of these trips, for the first time this spring we also offered self-guided experiences for student groups. These self-guided field trips allowed students to experience the garden and learn how to grow food, while also balancing our staff’s capacity to manage the garden and to support school garden events and opportunities at our Educator Coaching Program partner schools. In total, we hosted 22 field trips to the Washington Youth Garden this spring!

Christin Riddick, Youth Program Manager, felt that implementing these new self-guided experiences was the most challenging part of this spring’s programs. He and the team had many ideas of what they wanted to offer for these experiences, but it took some trial and error to find which would be the most successful. Max Skoglund, Youth Programs Educator, found it particularly rewarding when some of these new activities hit their mark and engaged visitors with the Youth Garden. His favorite activity was having visitors make nature-based self portraits from plants they foraged around the garden and arranged on tree stumps and tables. This activity encourages exploration, self expression, and creativity, and is a great way for people to see themselves in the nature around them.

For Christin and Max, some of their most memorable experiences with students are getting to see their faces as they try sorrel for the first time, or watching them make and taste hummus together. One student was so in love with the garden that he asked for a job and started talking about all the things he would implement to make the space even better. Even though he was only in second grade, Christin was impressed that he was a man with a plan.

Celebrate Juneteenth

Celebrate Juneteenth with the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum, which is hosting a Juneteenth Freedom Celebration on Monday, June 19th from 11 AM to 4 PM. This free event will feature music, an urban gardening workshop, trivia, double dutch, and more! Registration is encouraged but not required.

Plus, you can check out the museum's newest exhibition, To Live and Breathe: Women and Environmental Justice in Washington, DC. This exhibit explores how local women of color draw on a long history of activism to advance environmental justice efforts in DC and beyond.

Learn About the Event & Register >

Weekend Wrap-Up

Last weekend, the U.S. Navy Band played lively tunes in the Ellipse Meadow for over 400 people! This was our second Music in the Meadow concert of the year. While the May evening concert was ticketed, this June concert took place in the afternoon and was free for the entire community to enjoy.

FONA is excited to engage the public with art, music, and culture in unique ways at the National Arboretum. Support from FONA members makes free events like this one possible. Thank you to all who attended our June concert!

Looking to complete community service hours for school? Join us for our Teen Volunteer Day this Saturday, June 17th from 9 AM to noon. All participants younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian complete the permission slip in the sign-up form. Any volunteers under the age of 14 must attend with a parent or guardian. Fill out the teen volunteer interest form and we'll get back to you with more details.

Teen Volunteer Interest Form >

From Our Friends: Anacostia Riverkeeper

Connect with the Anacostia River this summer through free boat tours and fishing opportunities hosted by the Anacostia Riverkeeper.

Anacostia River Explorers Boat Tours take place throughout the summer. This tour highlights the Anacostia River's human and natural history, the threats it faces, and efforts underway to conserve it for the future. Registration is required for these events.

Friday Night Fishing takes place every Friday from 5 PM to 8 PM, starting June 23rd and going through August 25th. The program is held at the Diamond Teague Park Recreation Dock. Staff are available to provide supplies and instruction. Registration is encouraged for these events.

See Upcoming Events & Register >

Photos from Anacostia Riverkeeper

Upcoming Events

Teen Volunteer Day

June 17, 9 AM - 12 PM

In Washington Youth Garden

Registration >

Poetry Slam in the Garden

August 5, 6:30 PM - 9 PM

Youth poetry competition

Details & Registration Coming Soon

Forest Bathing Walks

Various dates and times

Meditation and mindfulness

Upcoming Dates & Registration >

Yoga in the Grove

Saturdays at 10 AM

Find your flow with Bluebird Sky Yoga

Registration >

The Arboretum is open every day from 8 AM to 5 PM except December 25th.

Check Our Website for Full Details >

Become a Member
Donate Today
Facebook  Instagram  Linkedin  
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.

Did a friend forward you this newsletter?