National Park Service

National Capital Region Network (NCRN)

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National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Network

Sherrick Farm Trail at Antietam National Battlefield Chimney Rock at Catoctin Mountain Park Historic Navigation Lock at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP Great Falls at George Washington Memorial Parkway Wetland flowers at Manassas National Battlefield Park

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.

Featured Information

Spring 2015 Natural Resource Quarterly

newsletter cover

Read about Map Viewers, Visualizers, and Tools; Spring Wildflower Walks, Eastern Hemlocks, Forest Regeneration, Parks Addressing Climate Change online; and more in the Spring 2015 NCRN Natural Resource Quarterly!

Forest Veg Visualizer

Veg Visualizer

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.

American Chestnut Briefs

man holding American chestnut flowers

A new set of resource briefs describe NCRN's 2014 inventory of American chestnut trees in the NCR. One provides a summary of all NCRN data, and 5 park-specific briefs describe results for those parks with the highest numbers of American chestnuts: Catoctin, GW Parkway, Harpers Ferry, Rock Creek, and Wolf Trap.

Forest Regeneration 2014

Veg Visualizer

Get the latest look at the seedling and sapling "stocking index" (a forest regeneration measure) for NCRN parks. Scores have remained relatively stable, although low, since 2006. Includes a more in depth look at Catoctin and Harpers Ferry.

A Water Quality Visualizer!


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.

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Last Updated: February 27, 2015 Contact Webmaster