Leaves are vital to the health of not just the forest floor, but the health of the rivers and streams, ponds and lakes! One of the many functions of leaves in water is as food and shelter for small macroinvertebrates (river bugs) which themselves play a variety of roles in an aquatic environment . Leaf Pack Buddies is a cooperative project to help students discover the world below the surface! Collecting leaves into mesh bags, placing those "leaf packs" on the bed of a river or stream for 2 weeks, then returning to "take inventory" of the creatures that chose to inhabit the leaf packs - this is how we learn about the overall water quality in that stream or river. Sometimes we compare results from different seasons, sometimes we place packs in different types of flowing water (fast and shallow, slow and deep), sometimes we compare different types of leaves across a study.
BRAT works with youth groups, community organizations, and students of all ages across public, private, and home study.