Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens This is the official page of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a unit of the National Park Service. Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a National Park Service site located in the north eastern corner of Washington, D.C., and the Maryland state border.
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Nestled near the banks of the Anacostia River and directly south of the Baltimore Washington Parkway, Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens preserves a plethora of rare waterlilies and lotuses in the cultivated ponds near the river. The park also contains the Kenilworth Marsh, the only remaining tidal marsh in Washington, D.C. and an adjacent recreational area. History: The land that is now Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens was originally purchased by Civil War veteran Walter B. Shaw in the 1880s. Feeling homesick, Shaw had wild waterlilies native to his home state of Maine brought and planted in the land. When the flowers Shaw brought thrived in the environment, Shaw brought in more plants and started a commercial attraction under the name W.B. Shaw Lily Ponds in 1912. In 1921, when Shaw died, his daughter, Helen Shaw Fowler, took over the prospering business which was being visited by many dignitaries, including US presidents.[5] Unfortunately, by this time the nearby Anacostia River had become filled with an excess of silt making navigation on the river difficult. The United States Army Corps of Engineers was called in to dredge the river which meant that the gardens were in danger of being destroyed. Helen fought to save the gardens and eventually in 1938, Congress authorized the purchase of the gardens for $15,000 to create the park. Today in the Park: Today, the park is under the administrative portion of National Capital Parks-East of the National Park Service. The total area of the park is about 700 acres (2.8 km2) large and constitutes the water gardens, Kenilworth Marsh, ballfields, and recreational facilities. The gardens have since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also designated a Category II Landmark by the Joint Committee on Landmarks of the National Capital. Portions of Kenilworth Marsh have also undergone restoration in 1992-1993 adding 32 acres (130,000 m2) of tidal marsh out of what was mud flats.

Mission: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

Operating as usual

It's that time of year again! Winter is here! Time for you to get outside and take advantage of a quiet time here at the...
12/21/2020

It's that time of year again! Winter is here! Time for you to get outside and take advantage of a quiet time here at the park. All it takes is some warm layers and you can enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with our park. Grab your hat, grab your coat, and enjoy!

The Wright Brothers made history by inventing and flying the first successful motor driven airplane in 1903. 127 years a...
12/17/2020

The Wright Brothers made history by inventing and flying the first successful motor driven airplane in 1903. 127 years ago. Today, the Eagle's Nest carries the tradition of flight into the future with the Park Police’s own Bell 412EP helicopter. Come see the Eagle One take off and land from Anacostia Park, or watch it fly over Kenilworth Park and Aquatic gardens many days of the week.

In honor of Thanksgiving, Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens is closed today. The park will reopen Friday, November 27, 2...
11/26/2020

In honor of Thanksgiving, Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens is closed today. The park will reopen Friday, November 27, 2020.

This Veteran's Day we would like to take a moment and thank all Veterans, overseas, and at home. Without you we would no...
11/11/2020

This Veteran's Day we would like to take a moment and thank all Veterans, overseas, and at home. Without you we would not be the country we are today. ​

Many Veterans contribute to things outside of their call to service. For example, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens was started by Walter Shaw, a Union Army veteran who transformed his land into a lily and lotus garden and that would eventually become known the world around. While we were founded by Veterans the support of the Veteran community continues today.​

We would like to celebrate and thank our Veterans, Ranger Kyle & Ranger Stephen, who are helping to take care of our plants, grounds, and help to keep Kenilworth a destination for families from across the country.​

In honor of Veterans Day all National Park sites have waived their entrance fee to visitors nationwide.



Photo source: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/veterans-day.htm

Today at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, we remember the Nacotchtanks or Anacostians, an Indigenous People who live...
10/12/2020

Today at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, we remember the Nacotchtanks or Anacostians, an Indigenous People who lived within modern-day Washington, DC. They were well known for their vibrant culture and had ample access to hunting and farming areas in the region. They operated an important trading post along the Anacostia River and for a time became regionally famous for their fur-trading. The first European explorer to record an encounter with the Nacotchtanks was John Smith who came to the territory in the early 1600s. He described the people as friendly and noted the logistical importance of some of their villages. In as few as forty Years after contact with Europeans, the native residents in the Washington, DC area were roughly a quarter of their former population. Diseases, wars and conflict forced many of the residents to move and some became absorbed by larger tribes surrounding the District.

(Photo: D.C Native Americans. Source: Library of Congress)

Throughout the year hundreds of bird species migrate through Kenilworth and today were hoping a few stop by. Hosted by t...
10/10/2020

Throughout the year hundreds of bird species migrate through Kenilworth and today were hoping a few stop by. Hosted by the Friends of Kenilworth, kids learned about migration patterns and the transfer of seeds through fun arts and crafts activities. Families built bird feeders full of peanut butter and birdseed, making huge messes (that parents don't have to worry about cleaning up), and giving any bird traveling for vacation a quick pit stop. If your interested in future activities be sure to check out their website.

Looking for things to do indoors or out? Check out the free Agents of Discovery App and complete the Kenilworth Mission!...
10/08/2020

Looking for things to do indoors or out?

Check out the free Agents of Discovery App and complete the Kenilworth Mission! Agents earn a badge after completing 5 missions.

Have you ever wondered how Helen Fowler shipped her lilies? Enjoy this excerpt from the Perth Amboy Evening News on Frid...
10/08/2020

Have you ever wondered how Helen Fowler shipped her lilies? Enjoy this excerpt from the Perth Amboy Evening News on Friday, September 1, 1922.

"The lily farmer must be an early riser. Four o'clock is none too soon to start work. Later in the morning the lilies are full blown and then they can not be shipped successfully. The closed buds are gathered and packed in boxes with damp moss. As soon as the boxes are un-packed, in Boston or St. Louis, the blooms open quickly."

Fowler delivered lilies regionally in her delivery truck or shipped them on the trains to cities further away for many years. This article is only a piece of the puzzle to understanding the shipping and handling of such magnificent blooms.

Excerpt from "The Lady of the Lilies told of by Mr. Haskin"
Photograph from NPS of Helen Fowler and her delivery truck

What's New at KEAQ?Welcome everyone, we are happy to welcome in some cooler weather as we ring in Fall! While our famous...
10/06/2020

What's New at KEAQ?

Welcome everyone, we are happy to welcome in some cooler weather as we ring in Fall! While our famous lilies and lotuses are on their way out, we welcome in the new members of our family, birds!

It has been reported that guests to KEAQ can find up to 236 species of birds throughout the year. As the weather, and the water, get cooler I'd like to introduce you to some of our feathered friends!

Meet the Mallard Duck, a common type of duck in the DC-area. They are known to eat grains, insects, and seeds. Ducks form pairs and when the eggs are laid the male duck leaves and the female remains to stay with the eggs as they hatch and grow.

If you see any ducks here at KEAQ please give them a wave and say hi from a distance!

Happy Birding!

PC: Tim Ervin

10/05/2020
Curriculum Materials - Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens (U.S. National Park Service)

Happy teachers day to all the teachers out there who were once or are currently teaching the future generations of America. It's an amazing thing that you do, especially in todays time when a curriculum is thrown out the door and has to be rewritten for the year. You can do it and if you need any help Kenilworth has your back with at home science and nature courses you can use for you own lessons. https://www.nps.gov/keaq/learn/education/curriculummaterials.htm

Curriculum Materials - Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens (U.S. National Park Service)
The following links are to materials you can use for programs without coming to the park. For a park visit with a ranger, call the park at (202) 692-6080 to discuss your learning goals and class.
www.nps.gov

We understand that sometimes it can be hard to make it out to the park even though there's an interest in it, so we've provided links that can teach some of the basics about science and nature. We've provided materials that educators can use for at-home programs or when adapting a lesson.

Although D.C may be blazing hot in the summer, it still has frigid winters. At Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens we love to pro...
10/04/2020

Although D.C may be blazing hot in the summer, it still has frigid winters. At Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens we love to provide visitors with a wide range of plant life. From banana trees to our tropical lilies, we do our best to fill the park with variety and color. With that means some of the plants have to come into the hothouses for the winter, so that next year you can see the same purple, yellow, and violet lilies that bloomed this year.

This is far from the end though. There is plenty of nature to be seen, like our hardy lilies and the ever changing color of leaves. Even in the winter, nothing is quite as majestic as the blue heron in the snow. There’s always something new at KEAQ!

#KEAQ

Are you looking for family friendly things to do this weekend?  In addition to our Jr Ranger Books and Agents of Discove...
10/02/2020

Are you looking for family friendly things to do this weekend? In addition to our Jr Ranger Books and Agents of Discovery Mission you can also learn about turtles!!!

Print these activities and come explore at the gardens. You might get to see some turtles for yourself!

"Imagine the sturdy little woman (Helen Fowler) guiding her boat about the water fields and directing her assistants as ...
10/01/2020

"Imagine the sturdy little woman (Helen Fowler) guiding her boat about the water fields and directing her assistants as they pick several thousand lily buds on a summer morning. Imagine her again, standing rifle in hand tensely waiting for the snapping turtle, that deadly enemy of the water lily. When he hears no one about, up comes his head and crack goes the shot of the expert. That turtle eats no more lilies... Mrs. Fowler believes in turning pests into profit."

Did you enjoy this blast from the past taken from the September 1, 1922 Perth Amboy Evening News? Our Ranger staff did! While the Park Service does not actively hunt our turtle friends they remain one of our biggest challenges when it comes to the lilies!

This Article was titled "The Lady of the Lilies told of by Mr. Haskin" and written as a Daily Letter by Frederic J. Haskin.

Seize the opportunity to play Missions all over DC! Join Agent Gold Mantle to explore the National Arboretum with the U....
09/30/2020

Seize the opportunity to play Missions all over DC! Join Agent Gold Mantle to explore the National Arboretum with the U.S. Forest Service's fun and engaging Mission. Remember,
if you complete 5 Missions, you will become a D.C. Traveler and earn a special badge!

Seize the opportunity to play missions all over D.C.! Join Smokey to learn all about wild fire prevention from the comfo...
09/09/2020

Seize the opportunity to play missions all over D.C.!

Join Smokey to learn all about wild fire prevention from the comfort of your own home with the "Smokey Bear 75th Birthday Mission- DC”

Remember, if you complete 5 missions you will become a D.C. traveler and earn a special badge!

Download the Agents of Discovery App to start exploring!

Please join the Rangers at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in celebrating Labor Day! This year we would like to thank all of ...
09/07/2020

Please join the Rangers at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in celebrating Labor Day! This year we would like to thank all of our workers and volunteers.

There are some workers at the gardens that unfortunately do not get as much recognition as they deserve. Today that shout out goes to the pollinating beetles. Tropical Lilies can be of both day or night blooming variety and the night bloomers are exclusively pollinated by beetles. This year's Euryale Ferox has not yet produced a bud, but it has a unique purple spiky flower.

Can you help us find pollinator beetles today? Post pictures in the comments below, or to the "Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens" page on the iNaturalist App!

Have you ever wondered about the different types of pollinators that work at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? Our rangers enj...
09/05/2020

Have you ever wondered about the different types of pollinators that work at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? Our rangers enjoy seeing them from year to year and cannot wait to share them with you!

Can you help us find and identify some of our pollinators? Don't forget to post your 'Bug Bonanza' photos in the comments below or to the 'Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens' page on the iNaturalist App!

Are you interested in bugs?Then you should join us in our Bug Bonanza challenge!Our goal is to find 100 bugs in the gard...
09/04/2020

Are you interested in bugs?
Then you should join us in our Bug Bonanza challenge!
Our goal is to find 100 bugs in the gardens between Friday, September 4 and Monday, September 7.

Grab your phones, cameras, and competitive spirit and come visit Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens!

Don't forget to post your photos in the comments below or to the 'Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens' page on the iNaturalist App!

Today we celebrate the Wilderness Act and the protection it grants to park lands nationwide. President Lyndon B. Johnson...
09/03/2020

Today we celebrate the Wilderness Act and the protection it grants to park lands nationwide.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act of 1964 to protect wilderness areas nationwide by forming the National Wilderness Preservation System, which is comprised of the NPS and other Land Management agencies.

The act defines a Wilderness as "an area where the earth and its
community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain". Here in D.C. we do not often think of having a wilderness in our backyard, but there are protected and uninhabited areas all around us.

Can you think of a largely uninhabited area in your community, or one that you have visited?

Seize the opportunity to play Missions all over DC! Join Agent Chimpunk to explore the American Battle Monuments Commiss...
09/02/2020

Seize the opportunity to play Missions all over DC! Join Agent Chimpunk to explore the American Battle Monuments Commission with their Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and World War II Memorial Missions.
Remember, if you complete 5 Missions, you will become a D.C. Traveler and earn a special badge!

Have you ever wondered what blooms in late summer and early fall?These are just a handful of flowers currently in bloom ...
09/01/2020

Have you ever wondered what blooms in late summer and early fall?

These are just a handful of flowers currently in bloom and we cannot wait to share them with you!

Get outside, Enjoy nature, and don't forget there is always something new at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens!

08/30/2020
Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever wondered what some of our most frequently asked questions are at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? Watch the video to learn the questions and answers from our Ranger staff!

Attention Agents:This week's featured mission is at the Columbia Gardens Cemetery! Don't forget to download the (free) a...
08/28/2020

Attention Agents:
This week's featured mission is at the Columbia Gardens Cemetery! Don't forget to download the (free) app and experience the site like never before!
Stay tuned for more missions and good luck exploring!
#agentsofdiscovery

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Anacostia Park or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? Now is your chance to have a more...
08/21/2020

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Anacostia Park or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? Now is your chance to have a more interactive visit, or even learn from home and earn a badge. To participate download the free Agents of Discovery App and complete 5 missions.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens using an immersive virtual game? Download A...
08/20/2020

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens using an immersive virtual game? Download Agents of Discovery using the Google Play or Apple App Store and come down and visit the parks! Ask a ranger how to play or download the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Garden map and begin your very own adventure!

Hey Agents,We've created two ways to virtually explore Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens and Anacostia Park at home or...
08/20/2020

Hey Agents,

We've created two ways to virtually explore Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens and Anacostia Park at home or on-site. Are you curious about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Anacostia Park but not quite sure how to use Agents of Discovery? Well we've put together a few helpful hints to get started and fully immerse yourself in the world of Agents of Discovery.

In-Person
If you feel comfortable coming to the park we will have plenty of adventures in store for you. Simply follow these steps to enjoy your Agents of Discovery Adventure!

Step 1) Download Agents of Discovery App by going to https://agentsofdiscovery.com/.

Step 2) Once you're in the app download the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Garden and Anacostia Park missions by clicking the download button. (Data rates may apply so check with your guardian to make sure you have a data plan (or are on wifi) that will allow you to download this).

Step 3) Find the challenges that appear as bubbles on the map, take a walk through the park!

Step 4) Enjoy! And, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask one of the Rangers at the welcome tent or Visitor's Center.

Who am I?I am a Sacred Asian Lotus and I originated from Asia. I love living at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and blooming ...
08/17/2020

Who am I?

I am a Sacred Asian Lotus and I originated from Asia. I love living at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and blooming between late-June through early August. To learn more about Scared Asian Lotus please download Agents of Discovery app (Apple Store or Google Play) and play the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens mission.

08/14/2020
Agents of Discovery

Agents of Discovery

The D.C. Explorer 3.0 is finally here and will run from August 15th – October 31st 2020. Join us for a live launch event and learn all about the unique aspects of each participating site!

Players will be able to earn badges by completing Missions in the area, and will be entered in a draw to win other cool prizes as well! Participating sites can be found all over the greater D.C. area, including in Maryland and Virginia.

Keep an eye on this webpage: https://agentsofdiscovery.com/dc-explorer/ for updates on dates, prizes, and participating sites for this year’s DC 3.0 Campaign.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? You can use Agents of Discovery, a mobile platform ...
08/14/2020

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens? You can use Agents of Discovery, a mobile platform designed to enhance your experience whether its at home or in the park. Agents of Discovery will launch TODAY, August 14, to help you get the most out of your parks.

To learn more follow our social media, visit agentsofdiscovery.com, or download the Free Agents of Discovery App!

#findyourpark #kenilworthaquaticgardens #agentsofdiscovery

Do you want to experience the wonders of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens from home? We can’t wait for you to join us in our A...
08/13/2020
Educational Learning Games | Agents of Discovery AR Platform

Do you want to experience the wonders of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens from home?

We can’t wait for you to join us in our Agents of Discovery Launch THIS FRIDAY, August 14!

Agents of Discovery is a fun, interactive, and exciting addition to the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens experience! To learn more about Agents of Discovery follow our social media or visit https://agentsofdiscovery.com/

Agents of Discovery is an educational mobile gaming platform that uses augmented reality to get youth active.

07/08/2020
Tulip Poplar

Join Ranger Julie and learn about another tree in our park, the Tulip Poplar!

Happy 4th of July from the staff at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens!
07/04/2020

Happy 4th of July from the staff at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens!

Come find out what is blooming in the park!!!Our current hours are 8-4 daily. All buildings are closed to the public (re...
06/28/2020

Come find out what is blooming in the park!!!

Our current hours are 8-4 daily.
All buildings are closed to the public (restrooms, visitor center, and greenhouses)

Please follow all directional signage and wear masks when you can’t social distance from others.

Stay hydrated and enjoy the flowers!

Address

1550 Anacostia Ave, NE
Washington D.C., DC
20019

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens ( visitor center facilities ) is in northeast Washington, D.C., just south of the Route 50, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Kenilworth Avenue intersection. The entrance to the Aquatic Gardens is at 1550 Anacostia Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20019. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Gates will lock and Close Promptly at 5 p.m.The entrance to Kenilworth Athletic Fields (active recreation area) is located at the westernmost end of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E. It is approximately 0.5 mile south of the Aquatic Gardens entrance. There are no facilities at the site. Coming by auto: Take Route 295 southbound if you are coming from north of Route 50 or Route 50, to the Eastern Avenue Exit. Go straight up the ramp to the second street on the right, Douglas Street. Make a right onto Douglas Street. At the end of Douglas Street, make another right onto Anacostia Avenue to get to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Go left to get to Kenilworth Recreation Park.If you are coming from south of Route 50, take Route 295 north to the Burroughs Street Exit. At the bottom of the ramp go left. Go straight to Kenilworth Recreation Park. To get to Aquatic Gardens, go to the right of the athletic field entrance to follow Lee Street to 40th around a curve to Anacostia Avenue. Pass a handball court and wooded area to the gardens. An alternate to the Aquatic Gardens is to continue north on Route 295 to the Eastern Avenue Exit. Make a U turn to the left at the light at the top of the ramp and go down two streets to Douglas Street. Make a right on Douglas. At the end of Douglas make a right on Anacostia and continue a block and a half to the park on the left. Coming by Metro: For the Aquatic Gardens, exit the Deanwood Stop on the Orange Line, lower Polk Street Exit. Take the pedestrian overpass across Kenilworth Avenue and go left on Douglas Street. Go right on Anacostia Avenue and enter any open gate on your left. For Kenilworth Park exit the Minnesota Avenue Stop, go left on Minnesota Avenue to Nannie Helen Burroughs and go left to the athletic fields. Coming by canoe:Visitors coming by canoe should be aware that the marsh loses 90% of its water at low tide. Anacostia Watershed Society has a trail guide at http://www.anacostiaws.org/images/maps/AnacostiaRiverWaterTrailGuide.pdf Coming by bike: There are a growing number of bike trails near the park. For more information and a map go to http://bikewashington.org/trails/For further information, you may contact a Park Ranger at the site by telephone at 202-426-6905.

General information

Welcome to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens' page. We hope this will become a place where fans feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other fan's opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines here. If you do not comply, your message will be removed. We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. Posting of external links on this site that are intended as advertising (or to drive traffic to websites unrelated to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens), or do not contribute to dialog and discussions about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens may be deleted. People who continue to post such links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. External links do not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. National Park Service or the U.S. Department of Interior.

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Comments

Saw these berries during a walk at Kenilworth Gardens. They couldn't have been more red. And beautiful. Does anyone know what they are?
Next stop Fe Fisher Jeff Peterson
Is the park open?
Any word on when The Gardens will open?
Gorgeous !
An amazing water lily!
Why is it that in some ponds all the lotus seed pods face the same direction. But in the next one they are either haphazard or facing a different direction?
Beautiful day to spend at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens! Here is one of the better pictures I captured....
The purity of the body, speech , and mind...Lotus said it all!
When is this year's Lily & Lotus Festival? Your website still has last year's info.
Spent the morning at Kenilworth.
A must see garden!