Sometimes when we live in cities we forget about the big green and blue world around us. Urban cityscapes create a dense thicket of concrete and stone that can simultaneously contain inspiring design and harsh lines. It is really important to remind yourself what the natural world looks, feels and smells like to stay buoyant in an urban jungle.
This summer i devoted a lot of time to searching for green space in and around DC. While a lot of people point to the National Mall as a sprawling green campus, it is not quite the same as actual unplanned wild nature. So for my last adventure in DC I ventured to the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens with my friend Seth.
The Kenilworth Gardens lie on the Anacostia River in Northeast DC and are accessible from the Orange Metro line (going green really is that easy). Kenilworth sits on a marsh and is full of lush water based plants. The lotus flowers and water lilies were vibrant and colorful. The tall lotus flowers were our favorites with green leaves and stalks sparked with huge white flowers and giant seed pods that were as interesting as the blossoms.
The winding paths in the gardens guide you over marshes so you can look straight down into the swamp. Strolling in the garden is so calming and it is hard to imagine that you crossed over an expressway to get to the entrance. Kenilworth is a quiet retreat from the city but also a very interesting reminder of the the District. Seth pointed out that it is interesting to imagine that all of DC probably resembled something similar in the 1800’s.
The Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens are almost hidden in plain sight, waiting to provide a kind break from the city.