Nature & Science

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Aerial view of Rock Creek Park showing its urban surrounding.

NPS Photo.

Rock Creek Park serves as a natural oasis within the heavily urbanized District of Columbia. Many plant and animal species consider the forested landscape of the park home. Meadows and stream habitats provide even more biodiversity; the Hay's spring amphipod is an endangered species found within the park. Rock Creek Park is also an important resting spot for neo-tropical migrant birds on their way south to their wintering grounds or on their way north to their breeding grounds.

Being an urban nature park, Rock Creek Park also faces many environmental challenges. Invasive, non-native plant species, stormwater runoff, an unsustainable number of white-tailed deer, and climate change, all pose major threats to the health of the park. Click on the links at right or below to read more and to see what National Park Service staff and partners are doing to mitigate the effects of these critical issues.

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6 minutes, 3 seconds

How National Parks in urban settings provide valuable refuges to wildlife: from water birds at Boston Harbor Islands to threatened bats at Rock Creek Park, and the contributions that monitoring by citizen scientists and NPS employees make to preserving them.


NEW! Exploring Natural Communities - A natural community is a combination of native plants and animals repeatedly occurring together in a particular natural environment that has experienced minimal human-caused disturbance or has recovered from that disturbance. In partnership with Nature Serve, Rock Creek Park has developed a new website to explore what flora and fauna call the park home. Learn more at

Rock Creek Park Geology

Learn about the National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Network activities in Rock Creek Park.

National Park Service information on climate change and mitigation:

Resource Stewardship Strategy Summary

Last updated: December 2, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

5200 Glover Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20015


(202) 895-6000
Rock Creek Park administrative offices can be reached at 202-895-6000. For general information call 202-895-6070 Wednesday - Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and dial 0.

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