Cultural landscapes are complex places with historical significance, reflecting human adaptation and use of natural resources over time. Cultural Landscapes are expressed in the way land is organized through patterns of settlement, land use, systems of circulation, types of structures created, and materials used. Natural systems, such as land forms, soils, and vegetation, are not only part of the cultural landscape but also provide the framework within which it evolves.
The over 250 identified cultural landscapes in the National Capital Region (NCR) range from our nation's iconic sites, such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, to linear parks like the George Washington Memorial Parkway that provide transportation corridors, green space, and public access to rivers; to the farms and fields of Civil War battlefields of Manassas and Antietam, to designed landscapes such as Beatrix Ferrand’s Dumbarton Oaks Park at Rock Creek Park.
The NCR Cultural Landscapes team draws on expertise in the fields of landscape architecture, historic preservation, and geographic information systems (GIS) to maintain an inventory of landscapes and their components, manage research, and assist parks with recommendations for landscape maintenance and treatment.
Please contact Julie McGilvray, Preservation Services Program Manager for more information. If you need assistance from Resource Stewardship and Science (RESS), you may submit a Solution for Technical Assistance Requests (STAR) request online (NPS Only).
- Cultural Landscape Inventories (CLIs)
To date, over ninety Cultural Landscape Inventories have been completed in the NCR. The CLI team is currently working with collaborators to document the historical development and existing conditions of significant cultural landscapes across NCA national parks. The CLI program allows NPS to meet federal Section 110 requirements under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, and includes signficant geospatial information for cultural landscape feature and processes/systems locations.Cultural Landscape Reports (CLRs)
Working with contractors and university research partners, the NCR Cultural Landscapes team develops treatment plans for management and use of significant cultural landscapes across national parks in the National Capital Region
- Thematic Studies
Working with contractors and university research partners, the NCR Cultural Landscape team creates special thematic studies on NCA cultural landscapes. Some of these areas of study include: DC Small Parks, Landscapes of Civil Rights, and the Civil War Defenses of Washington.
Last updated: July 6, 2023