As the National Arboretumís primary nonprofit partner, FONA ensures that the arboretumís green space (one of the few on DCís east side) is accessible to all residents, as are family festivals, concerts, and other events. Its flagship Washington Youth Garden program welcomes thousands of learners annually while growing and distributing more than 8,000 pounds of produce to local families and expanding community access to fresh food. Offsite, FONA supports educators by strengthening school gardens and delivering hands-on outdoor lessons. Year-round, high school students of color participate in paid agricultural internships, developing their farming, carpentry, and cooking skills as they become youth leaders. FONA instills a love of nature in young residents and uses the outdoors to advance health and educational equity for all.

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 (FY2022)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for 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 Spur Local

Each year 150+ community advocates review applicants on the basis of governance, equity, and impact. Each featured nonprofit has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. Spur Local charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $57 million for nonprofits across the Greater Washington region.

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

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