What better way to spend an afternoon than looking at bugs? Deer Park students did just that this week as they examined water samples taken from Willow Creek for aquatic insects and organisms, called macroinvertebrates.
Students found lots of little creatures nestled among the leaves, sticks and sediment in the water samples including water boatmen, aquatic earthworms and snails. These species are very tolerant to pollution and indicate water quality that contains a variety of pollutants. Students from Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School and Deer Park Academy have been working very hard at Willow Creek this year to alleviate some of the water quality problems we experience at the site. By planting native trees, they are working to halt bank erosion and runoff. By removing invasive species, they are allowing deeper roots of native plants to take hold, growing tall to shade the stream and cool its temperature.
We had a great time removing blackberry, planting natives, building turtle habitat and doing macroinvertebrate testing with Deer Park over the past few months and we wish them all the best of luck. We have learned so much from all of you and we hope you learned something too! We look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait to meet our new Deer Park students in February!