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

Fall 2016 Natural Resource Quarterly

pawpaw fruit

Read about the Impact of Pawpaw Trees, Specific Conductance in Streams, Communicating Climate Change, and Celebrating the Centennial with Science!

Vines on Trees at Forest Edges

forest edge

Learn how vines can change tree growth and mortality.

Specific Conductance

pipe outfall

What do snowstorms, urban development, and water pollution all have in common? They all can cause high rates of specific conductance in freshwater streams. Learn more.

Forests: The Next Generation

tree seedlings

Learn about the state of forest regeneration in National Capital Region parks.

A Water Quality Visualizer!


An interactive online tool for viewing stream water quality data. See all data, thresholds, and trends, and download raw data or graphs.

About I&M in the National Capital Region

NCRN's ecological monitoring supports national parks in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

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Last Updated: September 02, 2016 Contact Webmaster