Author: Tina O'Connell (Tina O'Connell)

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March 10, 2023March 17, 2023

A New Bloom for Tina O’Connell & Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

More than ten years ago, when I walked down the gravel path into Kenilworth Aquatic Garden as the first paid staff member for Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (FoKAG), I was overcome with a sense of peace and possibility. I was where I belonged.  You know the feeling: the moment when the daily hustle and...

March 2, 2023March 2, 2023

Duck ID at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

By Shannah Cumberbatch “Ducks and ducks and ducks, oh my!” Have you ever wandered near a body of water and wondered what kind of duck you were seeing? Me, either! However, after this quick read, you can impress your family and friends with bird facts. Quite a few waterfowl call the Gardens their home, especially...

February 7, 2023February 13, 2023

Hello and Goodbye: The 2023 Board of Directors

We say goodbye to five fantastic board members this year and welcome four new ones in their place. Please join me in celebrating the time of Charles Taylor, Kamaile Turcan, Elizabeth Curwen, Chanda Washington and Irfana Jetha Noorani as they step down from the board of directors for Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Then join...

December 2, 2022December 2, 2022

National Park Friends Alliance Meeting: Learning from Our Peers

Written by Tina O’Connell This year the annual National Park Friends Alliance Meeting convened in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a town nestled at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Friends of the Smokies hosted the conference in partnership with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation and the Steering Committee of the...

December 2, 2022January 10, 2023

A Day of Oral History with Anacostia Community Museum

Written by Shannah Cumberbatch The Anacostia Community Museum is working on an oral history project where eight high school students living in the Anacostia Park community were invited to explore the power of documenting their communities’ history through the lens of Anacostia Park and the Anacostia River. The students have been meeting with and interviewing...

December 2, 2022December 2, 2022

Sunday Funday: Thanks for a big hurrah!

Sunday Funday Recap – Sunday, 6 Nov 2022 Written by Shannah Cumberbatch Sunday Funday was our last event of the year on November 6th, but it won’t be the last Funday! The Gardens are a beautiful park to enjoy year-round, and we want folks to know and enjoy it outside peak season. This event brought...

November 4, 2022November 4, 2022

Thank You, Volunteers!

Closing out the Volunteer Season By Shannah Cumberbatch Our volunteers are our most valuable team players. From helping out in the ponds to greeting visitors, leading bird walks, and helping to set up for special events, our volunteers do it all! They are the reason we have such a robust program, one where folks opt...

September 30, 2022October 25, 2022

From Friend to Photographer to Football Coach!

From Friend to Photographer to Football Coach! Eastland Gardens is home to the nation’s only national park devoted to aquatic plant life AND the DMV’s only female football coach. By Zerline Hughes Spruill The return of autumn means we can enjoy the lotus flower seed pod heads at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, pumpkin spice everything everywhere,...

September 1, 2022September 1, 2022

Species Spotlight: A new Giant Water Lily has been discovered!

By Shannah Cumberbatch One of these things is not like the other! Have you ever looked at two things daily for years thinking they were the same, and suddenly realized one day that they were completely different? Well, that’s exactly what happened when biologists recently discovered a new water lily species hiding in plain sight...

August 30, 2022August 30, 2022

Welcome Director Sams!

Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens was thrilled to help welcome Chuck Sams, the director of the National Park Service to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in July! Director Sams and his family came to enjoy the Lotus & Water Lily Festival, including a leisurely stroll through the park to see the blooms and a ranger talk to...