Parks in this Network
National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Network
The National Capital Region Network (NCRN), is one of 32 I&M networks nationwide. It contains 11 park units in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia that share common natural resources. The NCRN parks are: Antietam National Battlefield, Catoctin Mountain Park, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Monocacy National Battlefield, National Capital Parks - East, Prince William Forest Park, Rock Creek Park, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
The NCRN encompasses four distinct physiographic provinces, stretching from east to west through the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge, and the Valley and Ridge provinces. This landscape provides a wide range of resources and ecological niches, yet NCRN parks share many features and challenges. With acreages ranging from 130 (Wolf Trap) to 19,612 (C&O Canal), NCRN parks on average are small, and all are effected by urbanization radiating from Washington, DC in the network's center. Outside of marshes and managed open areas, forests are the dominant vegetation of NCRN parks, making up approximately 74% of landcover. The vast majority of NCRN park land is also part of the Potomac River watershed, the second-largest tributary of the Chesapeake Bay—America's largest estuary.
Learn about the role of vines in forests and how to tell different species apart. Includes a photo-rich key to the most common vines in Rock Creek Park, both native and non-native, invasive. View vine brief here.
Read about the dominant tree species of upland and lowland forests in C&O Canal NHP. These forests show two very distinct groups of tree species based on their elevation and frequency of flooding. Learn how a measure called tree importance value is used to assess tree dominance. Brief available here.
Read about Restoring Habitat in the Potomac Gorge, Avian Influenza, A Fall Wildflower Walk, Vine Identification & Upland/Lowland Tree Briefs, Who's the I&M Crew, and more! in the Fall 2015 NCRN Natural Resource Quarterly!
This interactive online tool for viewing water quality data lets you see all data, thresholds, and trends for a particular stream, and download the information as raw data or as a graph. Includes water monitoring data from 2005 through 2013. View Visualizer! Now, also available, a 2014 resource brief on NCRN's Water Monitoring program, available here.
Explore the trees, shrubs, vines, seedlings, and herbs of forests in NCRN parks! The forest veg visualizer offers an interactive map, species lists, and graphs. Use the visualizer to investigate species abundance and density, tree species basal area, the forestry importance value of different tree species, and more. Link.