In the late 1870’s, Walter Shaw, a government clerk, purchased a parcel of land on the eastern side of the Anacostia River. Originally from Maine, Shaw fought in the Union Army and lost his right arm in the Civil War. Shaw would have returned home after the war but the harsh winters caused him severe phantom limb pain.
Feeling quite homesick, he arranged for some of the flora from his home state to be sent down to DC. In preparation, he began to dig (with one hand) numerous ponds and built a series of beautiful aquatic gardens. The water lilies he planted attracted thousands of people from all over the country.
Shaw passed away in 1921 and his daughter cared for the aquatic gardens until the National Park Service eventually bought the land in 1938.
Today, Shaw’s gardens are known as Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Regretfully the park doesn't receive the attention or federal funding that the National Mall, Rock Creek Park, and other National Park Service sites in the district, and therefore they really depend on their volunteers.
Everyone did fantastic work painting the maintenance shed back in September. It looks brand new!
Spring is just around the corner and the weather is warming up! There are currently some erosion problems on the pond shores and the National Park Service has requested our assistance with their trails renovation project. Be ready to put some waders on and have some fun in the ponds.
If the weather is too cold to work in ponds we will be able to focus our work on another shed and some trails that need repair.
Looking forward to seeing you all on the 29th of February!
What To Wear :
Wear warm clothes and stuff that you can get dirty.
What To Bring :
We will provide gloves and the National Park Service will provide any gear needed to go into the ponds.