The public can get a preview Monday of the new look and facilities on Kingman and Heritage islands in the Anacostia River. The islands were created by dredging in 1916 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The renovations covers the park's 50 acres -- all of Heritage Island and the fraction of Kingman not occupied by Langston Golf Course.

The Student Conservation Association will lead community members Monday in a cleanup of the site, which has been under construction since September. On Monday, 100 SCA volunteers and local high school students are expected to take part in invasive-plant removal, bridge building and general trash pickup.

The project is one facet of the 10-year renovation of the historically trashed Anacostia.

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"The river's improving," said John Dillow, executive director of Living Classrooms, which manages the islands for the city. "It's got a lot more work to be done, so we don't want to mislead people, but we want kids to see the reality: That there are fish in the river, and there are birds eating the fish."

Native wildlife to the 85-year-old islands includes great blue herons, osprey and red-eared slider turtles.

Jose Sousa, spokesman for the D.C. deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said he hopes the islands will offer visitors an escape within the city's borders.

"When you go out there you don't feel like you're in a urban environment," he said.

The project was initially set to finish phase one -- $950,000 for three outdoor classrooms and two improved park entrances -- by Martin Luther King Day, but was delayed by cold weather. Sousa said that work should be completed by spring.

Improved walking trails and bike paths, along with landscaping and beautification, should be finished before the end of the year. After that, a birding platform and environmental education center will be built.

Thousands of community members have used the islands for jogging and biking. The space drew out-of-towners for special events like the annual Bluegrass Festival, which debuted last year.

"It's a beautiful location," Dillow said. "A lot of people just don't know about it."