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 together new and returning residents, some having not visited since the 1950s! We invited our park neighbors and visitors to meet fellow neighbors who work or volunteer for local and area-wide organizations such as the Deadwood Neighborhood Library, the US Botanic Garden, DC Natives and Deanwood Citizens Association. Those in attendance were able to mingle with each organization and learn more about who they are, what they do, and how their work helps to better Ward 7 and the greater community.
While folks often drive to the park, many visitors enter the park via the Anacostia River Trail, whether on foot or by bike. To show folks the wonders of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens right off the trail, we collaborated with DC Trail Rangers from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association to create a park-wide scavenger hunt. Families brought their kids for the scavenger hunt to look for birds, beavers, and much more! Three checkpoints were placed around the park to encourage folks to explore beyond the lotus and water lily ponds. It was kid and adult friendly for all ages to participate – some adults had more fun than the kids! Items to seek included sitting in a red chair, hugging a tree, high-fiving a DC Trail Ranger, speaking to a Park Ranger, using binoculars to look for birds, spotting various animal footprints and more. The scavenger hunt sent people meandering between the ponds, hanging out along the boardwalk, and strolling to the park’s entrance from the Anacostia River Trail. We hope to host more events like this in the future.
The weather held up enough to indulge in free ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s while others took advantage of the 360 camera from Bowflix 360. The laughter was abundant, and loads of hugs were shared as neighbors ran into one another during the event. We all appreciated being around one another while enjoying the park’s beauty on a warm fall day. Table write-ups allowed folks to express what the park meant to them and how they felt while visiting. We at the Friends want to continue to reach out to our park neighbors and provide them with more opportunities like this to engage with us and deepen their connection to the park. Thank you for coming and enjoying a fun-filled fall day! We’ll see you again soon at the park!