The Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is a marshland located in the northeast of Washington, D.C. Considered being the only National Park Service site apportioned to the propagation and showcases various aquatic floras and faunas. Located on 700 acres of land, the park serves as the remnants of Washington?s natural history of marshlands and rivers. During the 1880s, Civil War veteran Walter B. Shaw, a native of Maine, purchased the land that is now Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. He planted a few wild water lilies on his land and soon the water lilies flourished. Thereafter, he planted more varieties of flowers which are mostly aquatic and started a commercial water garden. For 56 years of operation, Walter Shaw and later his daughter, Helen Fowler, successfully developed new varieties of water lilies, two of which are bearing their names.
In 1938, the gardens was purchased by the Federal Government and became a part of the National Park system and ceased its operations as a commercial water park. During that time, the park serves as a filter of Anacostia River; it reduces damage caused by floods and preserves the biological diversity in the marshland.
Today, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens serves as an excellent place for an educational and untroubled hiatus. The variety of water lilies and lotus is a great place to sightsee frogs, turtles, birds and dragonflies and the months of June to July is considered to be best time for the spectacular view of flowering aquatic plants.
The park also offers 180 acres of open area. Mostly used as a multi-purpose recreational field with picnic sites and ball fields that has become popular for soccer and Frisbee games. Along the borders of the ball fields are grasslands where a picturesque and vibrant diversity of flora and fauna can be seen. Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens will surely be an awesome place for photographers, students and anyone who needs a natural and serene escape.
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