A Legacy of Loving Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

A Legacy of Loving Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Reminiscing about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens’ Ranger Mack, Lotus Leaves and … Chickens?

By Zerline Hughes Spruill

Shawn and Cornell Battle are childhood sweethearts who were raised in the Kenilworth neighborhood. They each remember ice skating back in the day on Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens’ on frozen ponds (can you say global warming?), watching tadpoles grow into frogs, and admiring baby chicks – yes chicks!- in the grassy park!

The Capitol Heights couple, now grandparents, make sure their grandchildren get a great experience from local greenspaces like the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. They brought three of their grandchildren out to the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival during environment week this month, and found just about everything on our scavenger hunt list – thanks to granddad Cornell who relied on his childhood memories of adventuring through the Gardens four decades ago.

Cornell remembers the Gardens’ National Park Ranger Ronald McDowney, who was affectionately known as “Ranger Mack.” He taught Cornell and his young friends about wildlife and the ins and outs and navigating nature at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Listen to Shawn reminisce with our Community Engagement Manager, Zerline Hughes Spruill, during the Festival about her childhood adventures in the 1980s and make sure you cultivate your own memories this summer – and every season at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Watch this short clip of Shawn reminiscing on time spent at the park as a child.

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