National Park Service

National Capital Region Network (NCRN)

Parks in this Network

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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 is a fascinating collection of natural areas that all fall within the immense Eastern Deciduous Forest ecosystem. Four distinct physiographic provinces cross NCRN, spanning east to west 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 2016 Natural Resource Quarterly

newsletter cover

The spring Quarterly has sprung! Find out about orchids in the Catoctin Mountains, Rising Tides for Anacostia and Potomac River Marshes, Updates on the Centennial BioBlitz, and Science and Education with UERLA! You'll also find I&M's spring field schedule and a calendar of upcoming events.

The Nature of Wolf Trap: A Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA)

Wolf Trap Creek

This new report gives an overview of Wolf Trap's natural features including air and visibility, stream water condition, forest health, bird populations, and land cover. This special "Natural Resource Condition Assessment" is part of the park planning process and includes suggestions for future monitoring and management. Click here to download the full report.

Vine Key for C&O Canal

Non-native, invasive Chinese wisteria

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 C&O Canal National Historical Park, both native and non-native, invasive. View vine brief here.

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.

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. Link.

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Last Updated: April 13, 2016 Contact Webmaster