How can we encourage our children to eat healthy foods, enjoy the outdoors, and take care of the earth … all while developing their science skills? Now in its 45th year, Washington Youth Garden has the answer, offering year-round gardening programs to more than 5,000 youth annually. The vast majority of participants live in low-income neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce, green spaces are limited, and nutrition education is virtually nonexistent. Through multi-year partnerships at six schools, entire communities come together to design, install, and maintain school gardens; meanwhile, staff deliver free science and nutrition curricula and work with teachers to enrich their lessons with outdoor, garden-based learning. At WYG’s demonstration garden (located in the stunning National Arboretum), instructors offer hands-on science field trips to grades pre-K through 12 at low or no cost. A paid summer internship program for high schoolers focuses on urban gardening and environmental stewardship, complete with cooking lessons, food systems training, farm visits, and community service projects. Plant a seed … and watch it grow.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 5

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students

Schools They Work In: We work with a number of schools and community organizations over two of our programs -- Garden Science and SPROUT. The following is not an exhaustive list: ; Center City Charter School - Trinidad Campus and Capital Hill Campus; Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Public Charter School; Mary McLeod Bethune Public Charter School; John Burroughs Education Campus; Thurgood Marshall Elementary School; Tree of Life Community Public Charter School; Howard Gardner Elementary; Miner Elementary; Paul Middle Public Charter; River Terrace; Audobon Naturalist Society Summer Camp; Cesar Chavez High School ; Two Rivers Public Charter School; Greenbelt Mamas and Poppas ; Candeze Community Kids

Awards & Recognition

2011 marked the 40th anniversary of the WYG!
WYG received a Gold Leaf Award from the Department of Transportation - 6/2011.
WYG received Nature Explore Classsroom certification from the Arbor Day Foundation for the only certified site in Washington - 11/2011.
Featured in the documentary Community of Gardens and premiered throughout the DC area throughout the year.


Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Washington Youth Garden, Friends of the National Arboretum is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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