Leaf Pack Connects Students With Nature

National Wildlife Federation and Stroud Water Research Center partner to provide classrooms with powerful stream and water testing tool

08-28-2013 // Aislinn Maestas
Stroud Leaf Pack

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Stroud Water Research Center (the Center) are proud to announce a joint venture to help students investigate their local stream ecosystems with the Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit.

Developed by the Center, the Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit is a great hands-on scientific activity for teachers and curious students. The kit makes an immediate connection between the classroom and the outdoors and, by measuring the numbers and kinds of insects and other invertebrates in a stream, provides an estimate of stream water quality. NWF and the Center are partnering to distribute the kits.

“Students have an innate sense of curiosity about and desire to explore the natural world,” said Kevin Coyle, vice president of education at National Wildlife Federation. “The Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit encourages students to go outside and explore the streams in their backyard, learning as they go about the health of their local environment. It’s a terrific educational tool for schools and families.”

The Leaf Pack Experiment involves creating a retrievable pack of dry leaves in a mesh bag, placing the pack in the stream for three to four weeks, examining the pack in the classroom and discovering and counting the different types of aquatic insects that, in turn, help indicate stream health. After conducting their own Leaf Pack Experiment, schools share data through the Leaf Pack Network® (www.stroudcenter.org/lpn). These data shed light on the important connection between streamside forests and the ecology of rivers and streams.

“The Leaf Pack Experiment is an exciting way to promote better stewardship of watersheds by engaging students and the lay public in the issue of how land use affects aquatic systems and water quality” said Bern Sweeney, director and president of Stroud Water Research Center.

To purchase a Leaf Pack Experiment Stream Ecology Kit for your school or to gift one, visit www.shopnwf.org/leafpack.

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