Kingman and Heritage Islands

Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region manages and conserves Kingman and Heritage Islands Park, located on Washington, DC’s Anacostia River (a tributary of the Potomac). The islands are home to Living Classrooms’ award-winning environmental education programming, environmentally-based job-training, hiking/biking trails, a kayak/canoe launch, and picnic areas.

The park is composed of two neighboring islands, Kingman and Heritage, which were originally created by a dredging project of the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1916 and were supposed to have been developed as urban recreational areas at that time. However, no development plans ever materialized, and the islands sat abandoned for almost a century, during which time they were used as unofficial dumping grounds and were eventually overgrown by invasive plant species. Thanks to a partnership developed in 2007 with the Washington, DC City Government, Living Classrooms now serves as the manager of the park and is responsible for restoration and stewardship of this vibrant urban parkland.

Located along the Anacostia Water Trail and the Anacostia River Trail, the park connects residents from Southeast to Northeast DC, creating an outdoor recreation linkage for urban hikers, runners, bikers, and paddlers. Stewardship of the islands has led to a return of native flora and fauna that is helping revive the threatened Anacostia ecosystem, making the park an excellent example of what can be accomplished when abandoned urban spaces are transformed back to their natural state.  In 2018, the DC City government designated Kingman and Heritage Islands Park as a “State Conservation Area” and portions as “Critical Wildlife Areas.”

Education Programs

Living Classrooms offers a wide variety of education programming, engaging children and youth of all ages in outdoor environmental programming throughout the year. The programs are tied to local and national educational content standards and provide academic learning in a hands-on and engaging fashion that encourages youth to develop an interest in E-STEM (Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subjects and careers.

Programming themes include:

Watershed Exploration

Students will learn how the Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River were formed and shaped, and how the role the water cycle and human impact affects the Watershed and Bay.

Invertebrate Investigation

Students will collect aquatic, benthic, and terrestrial invertebrates to determine their place in the food web and their scientific classification. Students will record their findings and draw sketches in field notebooks.

Habitat Hunters

Students will explore the diversity of habitats on Kingman Island such as Tidal Freshwater Marshes, Vernal Pools, Upland Forests, and Temperate Meadows. They will learn general ecology about each environment and compare basic traits and types of inhabitants.

Nature Skills

Learn fun outdoor hobbies as well as some survival skills that apply math principles and science relevant to the Anacostia and greater Chesapeake Bay environment.

See our contact information below to schedule a trip!

Volunteer on the Island

Living Classrooms hosts roughly 1,500 volunteers on Kingman & Hertiage Islands each year from corporate and youth groups to a large number of individual volunteers from throughout the region. Volunteers are critical to maintaining the park as a true urban oasis for wildlife and visitors. Projects commonly include invasive species removal, trash and watershed cleanup, small building projects, and event assistance.

Visit our Volunteer Page for a list of upcoming opportunities. For more information, or if you would like to schedule a service day for your group or company, please contact kingmanisland@livingclassroomsdc.org.

Public Recreation

Kingman and Heritage Islands are open to the public throughout the year for use as a recreation and gathering space during daylight hours. Living Classrooms also hosts several public events throughout the year including canoe tours, hikes, and our annual spring music festival, the Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival. For more information about the Festival visit www.kingmanislandbluegrass.info.

Explore the many recreation opportunities on Kingman & Heritage Islands

Biking: Biking is permitted on the main trail on Kingman Island and on the boardwalk trail.

Bird Watching: There are 100 species of resident and migratory birds that can be seen at the park.

Boating: Visitors can explore the park’s shore to the east on the Anacostia River and to the west on Kingman Lake. Dock access to the island is provided on the boardwalk connecting Kingman and Heritage Islands.*

*Note: The waterways surrounding the islands are tidal; please check Current Tide Data before planning your trip.

Dog Walking: Dogs are permitted in the park but must be leashed at all times. Please pick up and properly dispose of their waste.

Fishing: Fishing is permitted in all areas of the park in accordance with DC Laws.

Hiking: There is over a mile and a half of trails on the islands to hike and explore.

Picnicking: Food and beverages are permitted in the park. Please remember to properly dispose of trash and recycling. No alcoholic beverages are permitted on park grounds, in accordance with DC Law.

Wildlife Viewing: There is abundant wildlife to see throughout the islands. Please refer to the signs spread throughout the park to learn more about the indingenous species that have returned in recent years.

Photography: Kingman and Heritage Islands are beautiful parklands that offer any photographer a wealth of opportunities for great photos. If you are posting your photos to social media, please check-in on Facebook and/or tag @livingclassroom on Instagram or Facebook to share your work.

For More Information visit www.kingmanisland.org.

Contact Us
Phone: (202) 488-0627 x250 
Email: kingmanisland@livingclassroomsdc.org 

Locate Us
Kingman & Heritage Islands Park
575 Oklahoma Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002

Visit the Park
THE MAIN ENTRANCE FOR KINGMAN AND HERITAGE ISLANDS PARK IS FOUND ON THE WEST BANK OF THE ANACOSTIA RIVER.

THIS ENTRANCE IS LOCATED AT THE BACK OF RFK STADIUM PARKING LOT 6, APPROXIMATELY 0.1 MILES SOUTH OF BENNING RD. NE.

A PEDESTRIAN GATE IS ALSO LOCATED OFF BENNING RD. NE NEAR BENNING BRIDGE ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE ANACOSTIA RIVER