The Baltimore Partnership for Environmental Science Literacy (BPESL) held a learning station at Hereford Middle School’s annual Gunpowder Days held at Gunpowder Falls State Park in Parkton, Maryland on May 31, 2012. Julie Baynard and Natalie Mollett, both BPESL graduate students from Towson University, led a leaf pack activity for eighth grade students. Students dissected and investigated stream leaf packs that had been placed in the adjacent Gunpowder Falls for the previous month. Students also dissected leaf packs that had been in Towson Run, located on the Towson University campus. Macroinvertebrates were found living in all the leaf packs and were identified by students using ID cards and sorting sheets. By assessing and comparing the species of macroinvertebrates living in both streams, students discovered that Gunpowder Falls supports more pollution-sensitive species of macroinvertebrates than Towson Run.
Contributed by BES Ecology Education Program Leader Bess Caplan