Stroud Water Research Center’s Education Department has been coordinating an international biomonitoring program with stream macroinvertebrates called the Leaf Pack Network® (LPN) for over 25 years. Participants from around the world have checked on the health of local waterways through the placement of packs of leaves into streams.
Naturally occurring in small streams surrounded by trees, these leaves provide habitat, and for some macroinvertebrates, a tasty meal! Started as a tool to support teachers connecting students to their local watershed, LPN has turned into a community science outlet, and data can be found on Monitor My Watershed.
Packs are to be placed in fast-moving sections of streams in the spring and fall seasons (and in tropical streams, year-round placement is possible).
Interested but don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips from Leaf Pack Network Administrator Tara Muenz:
- Visit the Leaf Pack Network Get Involved page, where you can find the manual in English and Spanish, a quick guide, where to purchase small and large leaf pack kits, and a list of supplies needed.
- Watch the one-hour introductory recorded webinar linked below.
- Want to learn more about aquatic macroinvertebrates? Check out Macroinvertebrates.org, a resource full of 3D zoomable images, life histories, the free PocketMacros mobile app, an identification quiz, and resources for learning and teaching macroinvertebrate identification! All of the LPN data fields have been incorporated into a new digital report in the Stroud Center’s Water Quality mobile app.
- Keep an eye on our events page as we periodically schedule free Leaf Pack Network workshops!
Questions? Contact us!