US National Arboretum


A Note to Friends, Supporters, Advocates, and Donors

As the new year begins, on behalf of the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA), I want to thank you for your ongoing interest and support of our programs, projects, people, and plants. There are few places that combine the magic of scientific discovery with the serenity of nature in the way the National Arboretum does. Winter showcases many of these quiet surprises from late flowering cherry trees to cold hardy camellias such as ‘Polar Ice’ and ‘Snow Flurry’ to the USNA’s winter series of camellia cultivars, ‘Winter Hope’, ‘Winter Rose’, ‘Winter Star’, and ‘Winter Charm’.

These and many of the 650 cultivars resulting from Arboretum research over its history have changed the economic, environmental, and aesthetic value of landscapes across the nation. This sustained effort in plant breeding combined with improved disease detection and resistance, environmental hardiness, climate and water adaptive plants, and urban trees and shrubs, assure that USNA research is relevant to sustaining beautiful, low-input landscapes into the future, as well as a viable nursery industry. This science makes the value of the National Arboretum as important across the nation as it is to the growing number of National Capital area residents and visitors who come to the site each year.

Sustaining and integrating the research, education, and display functions of the National Arboretum is increasingly challenging, but you can help. The Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) is seeking funds to support an endowment for maintaining historic and nationally significant living collections at the Arboretum, focusing on Azaleas and Boxwood. You can support this effort through their website at

You also can donate directly to the U.S. National Arboretum through our website here or by contacting my office. Our wish list is long and varied. Our Master Plan calls for construction of a new education building (estimated to cost $10 million), new parking facilities, and a pedestrian plaza. Our operational goals, however, can be achieved through a wide range of much smaller gifts, for example:

  • $ 6,500 would support an undergraduate horticulture student through an internship at the Arboretum.
  • $ 19,000 would allow us to replace a very aging truck with a clean, fuel-efficient vehicle.
  • $ 7,000 would support a domestic plant exploration trip to help us find, preserve, and share germplasm from native species (which could be key to genetic improvement or recovery of a species).
  • $ 70,000 would allow the Arboretum to create modern, “green” restroom facilities at remote parts of the Arboretum with solar power and low-flow toilets.
  • $ 200 would provide for the purchase and installation of a new plant in the “Introduction” Garden to be re-established when the renovated Administration Building re-opens in Spring, 2012.
  • $ 4,500 to $62,000 would support construction of one of a series of rain gardens reducing water loss in the parking areas near the R Street Entrance.
  • $ 500 would help create and distribute the “Tree Hunt” adventure game for young children who visit the Arboretum.

Please contact me at the Arboretum if you are interested in helping with our programs, serving as a volunteer, or simply have suggestions for how we might serve your interests more effectively. Most importantly, please visit; there is something beautiful to see at the National Arboretum every day.

Colien Hefferan, Director
U.S. National Arboretum

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Last Updated  March 16, 2012 3:18 PM

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