Inventory & Monitoring

A woman with brown hair stands in murky water surrounded by plants, wearing brown waders and a gray National Park Service shirt; she holds an accordion-shaped net.
Park scientists conduct surveys to assess the populations of different species in the park.

NPS / Ryan Grzybowski

Science in the Park

Inventory and monitoring (I&M) builds a strong scientific foundation for the management and protection of natural resources in national park areas.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a member of the Heartland I&M Network, fifteen parks in the Midwest sharing resources and professional expertise to inventory and monitor natural resources.

The Inventory provides a snapshot of the natural resources in a park. Monitoring tracks the health of the natural resources across time. Effective monitoring programs alert park managers about changes—both positive and negative—in a timely way so that they can make informed decisions to protect the resources.

At Cuyahoga Valley, the largest inventory and monitoring project focuses on wetlands. Wetlands are a significant part of the park's natural environment. Nearly 1,500 individual wetlands cover over 1,900 acres within the park. Many of the wetlands are smaller than one acre. However, about 40 are larger than ten acres. All of these occur in the Cuyahoga River floodplain.

Inventory & Monitoring Reports and Data

All reports and data can be found on the NPS Inventory and Monitoring website. Below are some of the reports related to Cuyahoga Valley.

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    Citizen Scientist collecting butterflies on a summer day
    A citizen scientist searches for butterflies at Terra Vista Natural Study Area.

    NPS / Ted Toth

    Citizen Scientists at Work

    Volunteer citizen-scientists help survey and monitor different species in the park. The data they collect is reviewed by National Park Service scientists and added to the I&M databases. Visit our volunteer page to find out more about volunteering in the park.

    The park is involved with ongoing citizen science projects, including the Dragonfly Mercury Project. This nationwide program pairs scientific efforts to understand mercury pollution risks with public engagement and education. Learn more about how Cuyahoga Valley and other national parks work with community and citizen scientists to collect dragonfly larvae for this study.


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    Last updated: February 21, 2023

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