If you are interested in helping to take care of the natural communities of Rock Creek Park, here are some ideas:
- Learn about volunteering at Rock Creek Park.
- Team up with Rock Creek Conservancy, a citizen-based, non-profit organization that hosts volunteer restoration events for the benefit of the lands and waters of Rock Creek. Contact: www.rockcreekconservancy.org (202) 237-8866 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Team up with Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy, another citizen-based, non-profit organization that hosts volunteer restoration events in partnership with the National Park Service to restore a 27-acre historic gem on one of Rock Creek’s tributaries in the nation’s capital.
In the Park
Stay on trails and respect fences. Park staff sometimes put up fences to keep out deer or to discourage foot traffic in erosion-prone areas. You can help by staying out of fenced-in areas.
Keep your pet on a leash so that it does not disturb animals or dig up plants. Clean up after your pet to help keep streams and rivers clean.
Keep Your Eyes Open:
Alert park staff if you see any of the following along the trail: diseased vegetation, infestation by non-native insects, invasion by non-native vegetation (especially Early Detection Rapid Response species), trash, unauthorized trails, or anything that looks amiss. Make a note of your location, take a picture if you can, and contact Rock Creek Park’s Chief of Resources Management at 202-895-6010.
Landscape with Natives:
Many non-native invasive plants started out as—or still are—popular landscaping plants, so you can help limit their spread by choosing native plants for your yard. If you do plant non-natives, remove seeds and berries before wind and animals spread them. English ivy won’t produce berries unless it’s climbing a vertical surface, so keep it off trees and walls.
Keep litter, fertilizer, pet waste, and yard waste off the streets where it can wash into the storm drains that lead directly to creeks. Consider installing a rain garden in your yard to slow down stormwater run-off and help recharge the groundwater.