The Leaf Pack Network is an initiative of Stroud™ Water Research Center. The Stroud Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration.
If you visit Salt Creek, Death Valley on any given afternoon in the spring, you might have to navigate through school kids staring into the frothing waters. The kids have come to make leaf packs, designed as a tool to assess stream health, but have stopped to watch the pupfish breed in the shallow rivulets of Salt Creek.
In September 2009, Yosemite Institute began using leaf packs to study macroinvertebrates in four streams in Yosemite Valley. Students have been studying water chemistry in these streams for several years but institute staff felt that biomonitoring would provide a more accurate measurement of the health of these ecosystems.
David C. Richardson wrote in the professional journal Stormwater about Forest Grove Community School in Oregon and Mahopac High School in New York, two of the schools that are using the Leaf Pack Experiment and getting results that are making a real difference to their communities.