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.
The air pollution that interferes with our ability to see clearly, is improving in the NCR, even while visibility still warrants "significant concern." Pollutants like ammonium sulfate from burning coal are primary culprits. A new resource brief explains more about visibility issues in the NCRN.
Articles concerning: BioControls for Widespread Invasive Plants; Amphibian Monitoring Updates; Exotic Plant Management Team News; Grassland Bird Monitoring Pilot; Feral Hog Update; and more. View PDF
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
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!
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.