The Whole Picture: Exploring Willow Creek with Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School

Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School are no strangers to Willow Creek. With weekly visits to the creek, a constant eye on the water quality, and utter dedication to restoring our site, RCEMS students have a pretty good idea of what is going on in their backyard. However, Willow Creek is a large site and we have been working in many various sections of the site together. So, alas! we toured the entire site.

We saw huge Willow trees that RCEMS students planted as stakes nearly nine years ago. We saw how sections of the path connect, many beaver chew marks, and how the stream winds through our site.

We placed out leaf packs for macroinvertebrates to settle into. We are excited to open up these leaf packs and see what types of macroinvertebrates are present and which are absent from Willow Creek. This information can tell us a lot about water quality because some types of macroinvertebrates are more sensitive to pollution than others.

We also found lots of rough skinned newts! These rough skinned newts eat macroinvertebrates so their presence was very hopeful!

All in all, our exploration day was a success and we all left feeling a bit more confident we knew our way around our gigantic site.

Thank you, Clean Water Services, for funding this project!

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