Access to Nature Scores

Can people access and enjoy their nearby streams?

“We should be able to get in the water.”

– Marcos reminisces with Rebecca about his childhood spent swimming in the Northwest Branch with his father and brother.

Our streams are places of respite, joy, and beauty to millions

The four indicators of our Access to Nature score tell us about the interaction of the natural and human communities near the stream: Are people working to conserve natural lands in the watershed? Do community members have places to play, exercise, and relax? Is it easy for people to walk to a nearby park? Are trees distributed equitably so everyone can enjoy shade, improved air quality, and nature’s beauty?

Our streams all stand out for being accessible to millions of people living near them, especially Holmes Run and the Northwest Branch. Oxon Run provides some beautiful gems of heavily-used parkland to its community, but large sections are inaccessible to residents for either developed recreation or natural enjoyment.

Each indicator is scored from 0-100, and then an average Access to Nature score is calculated for each stream. Learn more about the scores in the Story Map below and in our methodology document.

View Larger Access Scores Story Map