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Washington DC Photo Gallery Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens began in the 1880s as the private creation of Walter B. Shaw, a devoted lover of nature. After losing his right arm in the Civil War, Shaw doggedly learned to write with his left hand. In the post-war years, a job as a letter writer for the Treasury Department brought him to settle in Washington, DC.

After marrying Lucy Maria Miller, Shaw purchased more than 30 acres along the Anacostia River from her parents. He soon found his new estate lacking some of the beauty of his native Maine. To remedy this he imported twelve white water lilies from his home state in 1882. By planting them in an abandoned ice pond, Walter Shaw began the aquatic gardens and his life-long hobby of cultivating water plants.

During the 1920s, at their very peak, the aquatic gardens became endangered. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wanted to claim the marshlands, without payment, for flood control purposes. The gardens seemed doomed.

Refusing to give in without a fight, owners Helen Fowler and Charles Shaw rallied the support of the Kenilworth Citizens Association. Together, they successfully lobbied Congress. In 1938 the federal government purchased the aquatic gardens for $15,000 to preserve them as a park. Later renamed Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, they remain essentially unchanged.
Directions: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is located in northeast Washington, D.C., near the Maryland boundary along the tidal Anacostia River. The entrance to the Aquatic Gardens is just west of I-295 (Kenilworth Avenue), between Quarles and Douglas Streets, on Anacostia Avenue.

The entrance to Kenilworth Park (recreation area) is located at the westernmost end of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E., just off I-295 (Kenilworth Avenue).

Telephone: 202-426-6905

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Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Park Entrance

4389 views

Baby Luke at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a great place to take newborns.

2914 views

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Sign - Visitor Center

This is the path that leads from the parking lot to the visitor's center, ponds, and gardens.

2611 views

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Entrance Sign

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Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Direction Sign

2759 views

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

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Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

This pond was likely dug by Walter Shaw himself.

2819 views

Aquatic Greenhouse

Built in 1913. Used to propagate waterlilies.

2812 views

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Visitor's Center

Visitor Center Bookstore
Welcome

2724 views

Iris Pseudacorus

Iris pseudacorus grows best in very wet conditions, and is often common in wetlands, where it tolerates submersion, low pH, and anoxic soils. The plant spreads quickly, by both rhizome and water-dispersed seed. It fills a similar niche to that of Typha ...

2649 views

European Water Iris

Iris pseudacorus (Bright Yellow Iris, Yellow Flag, Water Iris). The park is actually trying to slowly eradicate this plant. The Yellow Flag iris is pushing out the native Iris Virginica.Every year the park requests volunteers to go in the ponds and...

2812 views

Goose swimming in Kenilworth Aquatic Garden Pond

One of the best known birds in North America.

3103 views

Aquatic Plants

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Aquatic Plant *

Parrot feather, Myriophyllum aquaticum, is a flowering plant - a vascular dicot - also commonly called water milfoils.

3499 views

Common carp or European carp (Cyprinus carpio)

4836 views
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