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.