The National Park Service recently announced the addition of Kingman and Heritage Islands Park in the District of Columbia as the 171st site in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network.

The network includes parks, refuges, museums, historic communities, vessels and trails that offer a connection to cultural and natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Kingman and Heritage Islands Park, a project of the District of Columbia Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in coordination with Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region, offers trails for walking and bicycling through 50 acres of natural island habitat.

The islands lie in the Anacostia River in the District's northeast, and provide shelter and nesting for more than 100 bird species, including herons, eagles, and osprey. The park provides access for canoe and kayak users. Visitors can fish from multiple points along the Anacostia's banks and from boardwalk bridges.

Public transportation provides easy access to the park through the metro system; the RFK metro stop is within walking distance.

Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region coordinates efforts with school-based programs and the Anacostia Watershed Society to introduce area youth to outdoor experiences at Kingman and Heritage Islands Park. The park offers regularly scheduled opportunities to participate in conservation activities like cleanups and service projects.

"We are delighted to welcome Kingman and Heritage Islands Park to the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network," said Superintendent John Maounis. "The park offers unique opportunities to connect a busy urban population with outdoor experiences and, in the process, fosters an appreciation for Chesapeake-based resources and stories."

Kingman and Heritage Islands Park is also a partner site along both the Captain John Smith Chesapeake and Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trails.