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Anonymous Gift Means Azaleas May Bloom Again

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The azalea collection at the National Arboretum is getting a $1 million boost from an anonymous donor.
U.S. National Arboretum
The azalea collection at the National Arboretum is getting a $1 million boost from an anonymous donor.

The Azaleas are one of the arboretum's iconic collections, drawing 100,000 visitors a year. After a private grant wasn't renewed last year, the arboretum said it would have to dig up a large portion of the 65-year-old collection, drawing criticism from visitors.

But that plan is on hold following an anonymous donation of $1 million to the Friends of the National Arboretum.

"While it won't certainly solve our problems, it gets us on the road to being able to preserve the azaleas and the boxwoods and other critical collections," says the arboretum's director, Colien Hefferan.

The Friends of the National Arboretum are launching a campaign to raise an additional $1 million to create an endowment to fund the exhibit permanently.

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