Kingman and Heritage Islands, both in the Anacostia River, have seen little to no government support in recent decades, but Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser plans to change that.
Mayor Bowser announced a $4.7 million investment to develop the two islands strictly for environmental, educational, and recreational use. Kingman and Heritage Islands are now a State Conservation Area and the southern part of Kingman is now a Critical Wildlife Area. Possibilities for development include a state-of-the-art nature center and other structures that would give children and D.C. residents an “oasis in the city.”
The Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) celebrated the mayor’s announcement:
“We applaud Mayor Bowser for launching 2018 as the Year of the Anacostia with this significant investment in Kingman and Heritage Islands,” said Jim Foster, president of the Society.
Mayor Boswer has also declared 2018 to be “The Year of the Anacostia,” pledging to clean up the river and engage the community.
There have been past attempts to develop Kingman Island, including a private developer’s effort to build a theme park on the island in 1992. Anacostia Watershed Society and other environmentalists opposed it, and the development was never approved. Since then, AWS has been adding native plants and weeding out invasive plants from the islands, and has also installed a floating dock to provide access to paddlers.
To read more about the plans for Kingman and Heritage Islands, click here.