Friends of the National Arboretum is an independent, non-profit organization established to enhance and support the US National Arboretum.

Who are the Friends of the National Arboretum?

We are people who care about and support the U.S. National Arboretum – 446 glorious acres of gardens and greenspace in the heart of Washington, DC. This oasis nestled within our nation's capital welcomes all visitors, from professional botanists to inquisitive school children. Some of us are passionate gardeners; others enjoy a quiet stroll through the azaleas. We all have one goal in common – to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to share the beauty and knowledge to be found at the U.S. National Arboretum.

We unite as the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA), an independent and national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides valuable financial and volunteer support, especially for Arboretum internship programs, maintenance of the gardens and collections, the Washington Youth Garden and many other projects.

What we care about


The USNA preserves vital genetic plant material for future generations. We actively participate in protecting and restoring the watershed of the Anacostia River, which sits on the southeast border of the Arboretum.


The USNA develops drought and disease resistant plants, flowers and trees. Urban trees, in particular, are vital to the health of our cities.


The USNA is part of the largest contiguous parcel of greenspace in Washington, DC, free to all and interesting through all of the seasons of the year. It offers a place for quiet contemplation. Explore nature in the nation's backyard.


The Arboretum is home to the Washington Youth Garden, which inspires children and families to engage in self-discovery, explore relationships with food and the natural world, and contribute to the health and well-being of their communities. The USNA also trains the next generation of horticultural experts through post-doctoral and college level internships.


The Arboretum features invigorating Full-Moon hikes, lectures and workshops for the general public as well as educational tram tours exploring the vast collections available for all to enjoy.

FONA supports the U.S. National Arboretum by:

  • ensuring its unique role and special place in our nation's capital;
  • fostering an appreciation for trees and plants;
  • offering programs in the Washington Youth Garden where children and their families can participate from the ground up;
  • providing internship opportunities for horticultural students to work with the curators of the diverse collections and breeding programs;
  • increasing accessibility for every American and international visitor;
  • sponsoring annual events such as the Garden Fair plant sale in late April and the Great Arboretum Cookout in June;
  • working to raise Congressional awareness and support;
  • and being a good neighbor and supportive citizen in our local community.

This is our work and it is realized through the generosity of funds, time and expertise contributed by our members. Whether your interest is trees or gardening, plant science or the environment and its conservation, we ask you to support and nurture this place of beauty with us. Please donate and join our ranks today!


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