Water and Land Use

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Rock Creek Conservancy

Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park was set aside as a natural area in 1890, but the history of the area stretches back much further. Native Americans, settlers, and Civil War soldiers have all lived here. Today, Rock Creek Park is a natural area, a recreation area, a traffic corridor, and a gathering place for major sporting events. Its urban setting poses particular challenges.

How has water and land use in and around what is now Rock Creek Park affected the park’s natural communities? Find out!

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Fort Stevens 1864Historic Water and Land Use

Learn about the Rock Creek valley's rich cultural history, from Native American inhabitants, to land grant settlers and their mills, to the impacts of the Civil War.

Rock Creek Park fish ladderCurrent Water and Land Use

Learn about the restoration of migratory fish spawning habitat, and about urban challenges to a stream with a watershed the size of Rock Creek's.

Fort Stevens 1864 – Library of Congress; Fish ladder on Peirce Mill dam – Tom Paradis