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.
A recent study of 289 national park units (Monahan and Fisichelli 2014) found that in the majority of those parks, recent temperatures (past 30 years) were warmer than those experienced in the last century. Information specific to each of the 11 National Capital Region Network parks can be found in a set of briefs derived from the article.
Read about survivors of the American Chestnut blight; current Climate Change effects in NCR parks; the latest science on Hybrid Coyotes in the area; Air Quality & Visibility monitoring; and more. View PDF
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.