There’s only one national park dedicated to aquatic plants, and that’s Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, located in N.E. Washington, about a 15-minute drive from Greenbelt. I was there in Mid-July for their Lotus and Water Lily Festival.
All summer but especially at the peak flowering time and during the festival, the place is swarming with photographers. This year the 2-day festival attracted about 13,500 visitors, and I’m told attendance has been growing.
I wondered about the effect of social media, especially Instagram, on hyper-photogenic places like this. Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Park volunteer coordinator David Drawbaugh confirmed that he’s “sure a lot of people learn about the park through pictures of it on social media.” So selfies can be a good thing?
Funny thing, though. When I was there early Sunday morning of the festival I didn’t see a single selfie taken; I wonder if it’s generational, or even cultural.
I say that because SO many of the visitors I saw here are older, and from East Asia, where lotus blossoms have historical and cultural significance.
I asked about portraits and selfies and David confirmed that they’re popular here and I found the best possible one among the 2018 winners of the park’s Photo Contest. It’s this next one:
Lotus blossoms with Corgi was a sure winner in the people category. (Is posing with a dog cheating?)
Enjoy two more winners below.
David urges the public to come anytime. “There may not be as many flowers in bloom in the fall, winter or spring, but the park has a different kind of beauty.” No doubt, and lots of wildlife there along the river.
Enter the Photo Contest Now – Deadline is August 25!
The contest categories are:
- Abstracts of Nature – This category may include micro-photography, angles, patterns, motion or perspectives.
- Plants and Flowers
Click here for all the details.
Interpretive Volunteers Needed
Hey, for people with or without gardening experience, this is a rare public garden volunteer position that doesn’t involve hard physical work!
Here’s what Interpretive Volunteers Do:
- Lead guided tours
- Facilitate educational programs
- Staff the visitor center
- Represent the National Park Service, and so much more.
Click for details, including duties, benefits, training, contact info.