District officials, after spending more than $4 million on preliminary work, have abandoned plans to turn Kingman Island into a children's park.

City administrators Elijah B. Rogers blamed the city's worsening budget crisis for the project's abandonment. The park on the Anacostia River would have been called National Children's Island.

"Within our current anticipated budget realities, the city cannot justify the expenditure," Rogers said.

The park was to have contained a theater, playgrounds, nature areas and a worm farm. Two bridges linking the island -- actually two small connected islands -- to the river bank already have been built, and 100 cherry trees donated by the Japanese Embassy have been planted.

Two structures on the island -- an administration building and a playhouse -- have been deteriorating for two years and will be demolished, officials said.

Rogers said it would cost an additional $4 million to complete the project as planned, and said that spending the money would not be reasonably in the midst of the worst budget crisis in the city's history.

The city has spent $2 million of its own money on the project and another $2 million from federal and private sources.

The island, totaling 46 acres, is located south of Benning Road and east of the RFK Stadium parking area. It was created in 1919 by an Army Corps of Engineers' project to aid river navigation.