Through the master planning process, we learned that residents care deeply about the environment and sustainability. Natural areas are an important element of a community’s character and livability. They provide critical opportunities to preserve and enhance open spaces and unique natural features throughout the community, and provide opportunities for connection with nature, environmental education and volunteerism. Parks that have retained the best examples of the District’s native landscapes, ecosystems, natural communities or scenic qualities are classified as Natural Areas. Wetlands, stream corridors, rare plants, and wildlife habitat are often found in Natural Areas. Natural Areas are often identified by their uniqueness, pristine nature, aesthetic or scenic qualities, and outstanding opportunities for solitude or passive types of recreation. Passive recreation uses are generally secondary in importance to protecting the resource.