National Capital Parks-East

About the Park

National Capital Parks-East includes more than 8,000 acres of land, comprised of historic sites related to significant events such as the Civil War and the women‘s suffrage and civil rights movements. The park is a network of 13 sites located throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland, including:

Anacostia Park, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Capitol Hill Parks, Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, Civil War Defenses of Washington –Fort Circle Parks, Fort DuPont Park, Fort Washington Park, Fredrick Douglass Home National Historic Site, Greenbelt Park, Harmony Hall, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Langston Gold Course, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, Oxon Cove Park/Oxon Hill Farm, Piscataway Park and Sewall Belmont House and Museum. National Capital Parks-East

Climate change presents significant risks and challenges to the National Park Service. In the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Washington, D.C., sea-level is rising 1 to 2 inches per decade. However, climate change is expected to cause sea level to rise 15 to 40 inches, or double that rate, by 2100.3 In addition, due to sediment compaction processes that cause land in the mid-Atlantic to sink, sea level rise in the region is currently significantly greater than global sea level rise.

At National Mall and Memorial Parks, increased temperatures and hydrologic changes will alter the natural and manmade landscape of the park’s structures and open space, impacting the wide variety of ecological, cultural, and recreational features the park currently provides. Climate change may affect the cultural and natural resources entrusted to the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

Emissions Profile

GHG emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels for transportation and energy (e.g., boilers, electricity generation), the decomposition of waste and other organic matter, and the volatilization or release of gases from various other sources (e.g., decompositions of the forest, flora and refrigerants).

Climate change has the potential to affect the natural, cultural and historical resources entrusted to the National Capital Parks- East. When developing our action plan, the park considered the effects of climate change on structures and statues, shifts in tourism trends related to temperature changes and changes in growing season patters among many others.

The graph below, taken from our Climate Action Plan, shows our 2008 baseline park operations emissions by source.


National Capital Parks-East is taking to mitigate impacts from park operations. In doing so, the park commits to the following actions with the overall goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from park operations by 12% below 2008 levels by 2020 by:

  • Reduce solid waste through increased recylcing and composting and purchasing environmentally preferable products
  • Increase climate education with staff and park visitors, promoting a new mindset that "Stewardship is Everyday"  
  • Increase energy efficiency for existing assets and operations and encourage the use of alternative fuels

To read more about what we are doing at the Crater Lake National Park about climate change, check out our Action Plan