National Park Service

National Capital Region Network (NCRN)

Parks in this Network

NCRN Network Map
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Network Map

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

Climbing Vines on the Rise

grape vine

Vines have the potential to change a forest's structure and species composition, and they're on the increase. Grape vines are the most abundant in NCR forests but exotics like Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose are increasing twice as fast as grapes. Read more here.

Species Shifts in Maturing Forests

American beech

Hello beech trees and goodbye Virginia pines! NCRN forest monitoring data shows how trees species are shifting as forests mature. Includes chart showing the percent change in abundance of common NCRN trees including red maple, American beech, tulip poplar, white oak, and more. Download resource brief


NRCN Natural Resource Quarterly
(Spring 2014)

Newsletter Cover

Articles concerning: Water Quality Visualization; Climate Change Internships, A Spring Wildflower Walk, Aquatic Ecology Websites, Amphibian Habitat Monitoring; and more. View PDF

NCRN Species Lists!

red bat

A park-specific species lists generating tool using data from the IRMA database is now available. Select all species or specify mammals, plants, fish, birds, or amphibians & reptiles. Lists are printable and downloadable. Try it out!


A Water Quality Visualizer!

mallard

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: March 18, 2014 Contact Webmaster