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 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.
How are our forests prepared for the next generation?
Read about the CESU Bat Study at C&O Canal, Birds and Park Health, Addressing Amphibian Declines, and Inventories 2.0!
How Parks Provide the Essentials of Forest Structure.