Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Friend of the National Arboretum and the Nationa Bonsai Federation combined forces today, offering Arboretum employees a boat trip on the Anacostia and a nice picnic lunch

I had a good seat in the second row port, Kayla sat across on the starboard side. The day was pretty hot and I think we all expected the river to be hotter and more humid, but you know what? It felt 20 degrees cooler and there was a nice breeze.

We went downstream about a mile, not quite reaching the power plant, turning at the top of Kingman Island which is a nice island even though it was created by the Army Corp of Engineers in the 1920s and 30s to form an embayment. Kingman Lake, so that Washingtonians would have a place to pursue water sports. What a concept; trust me, water skiing was the last thing on our minds. The river is so polluted now that nearly half of catfish sampled display visible lesions or tumors. We were all careful not to touch the water. But things are gottting better.

Our tour was hosted by the president of the Anacostia Watershed Society and included many of the sites on which they're working to restore native wetland habitat, remove trash, and generally improve water quality. The tide was high so we were able to float into the embayment across the river from the Dogwood Collection, sort of, and enter Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. We saw herons, terns, geese, ducks, a cormorant, even this Bald Eagle. From a distance.
If you look closely you can see the smokestacks of the power plant, but Otherwise you have to keep reminding yourself that you're 3 miles from the Capitol.

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