Inventory & Monitoring at Rock Creek Park

Creek flowing through forest, with a bridge high above
Rock Creek Park

NPS

To help protect park natural resources like forests, streams, and wildlife, a team of National Park Service ecologists with the National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Network (NCRN I&M) is continually assessing conditions at Rock Creek Park.

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Rock Creek Species Lists
Rock Creek Resource Briefs
Rock Creek Reports
Quick Reads

Ongoing monitoring of forest vegetation occurs at 19 plots spread throughout Rock Creek's forests. At these plots, the trees, shrubs, vines, and specific non-woody plants are identified to group or species, and trees are measured and labeled. Any evidence of deer browse on trees or shrubs is noted. Diseases and pests are also noted along with targeted invasive plant species. Fallen and standing woody debris (that provides essential habitat to many types of wildlife) is also monitored.

Forest birds are of particular interest and are monitored twice each year (at 14 plots) in Rock Creek Park's forest.

NCRN I&M also monitors water quality every other month at 11 sites on tributaries to Rock Creek including: Battery Kemble Creek, Broad Branch, Dumbarton Oaks Stream, Fenwick Branch, Hazen Creek, Klingle Valley Creek, Luzon Branch, Normanstone Creek, Pinehurst Branch, Piney Branch, Soapstone Valley, and Rock Creek itself. Water is tested for levels of dissolved oxygen, pH, acid neutralizing capacity, salinity/specific conductance, total nitrate, total phosphorus, and temperature. NCRN I&M also measures stream width, depth, flow, and discharge. A set of continuous water loggers in Rock Creek below Dumbarton Oaks also measure conductivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and water level. In 2008 and 2013, I&M monitored aquatic macroinvertebrates, fish, and stream physical habitat in streams throughout the park.

Stream amphibians are monitored yearly, and forest birds are monitored at 14 forest sites twice each summer.

For more than 12 years, the NCRN Inventory & Monitoring team has monitored resources in the natural areas of Rock Creek Park as part of a larger group of parks in the National Capital Region. The information gathered is routinely used for park management, early warning of diseases and invasive pests, trail and building planning, and to protect vulnerable species.

Species Lists

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Publications and Other Information

Resource Briefs

A quick and easy look at NCRN monitoring data or notable natural resource issues in Rock Creek Park.

Air & Climate

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1364. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Amphibians

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1347. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Forest Birds

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1355. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Forest Vegetation

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1494. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Stream Biology

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1373. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Water & Other Vital Signs

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1382. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Reports

In-depth research on natural resources in Rock Creek Park.

Air & Climate

Source: Data Store Collection 3832. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2583 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Forest Birds

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2584 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Forest Vegetation

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2587 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Geology & Fossils

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1298 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Small Mammals

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2588 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Soil Data

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1335. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Stream Biology & Fish

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2589 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Water Quality

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2592 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Quick Reads

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    Tags: NCRN