What Do You Know About Macroinvertebrates?

You’re probably familiar with crayfish and worms, but did you know there are over 320 other species of macroinvertebrates living in Iowa’s streams, lakes, and ponds? That number is pretty impressive compared to only 108 species of fish in Iowa. These tiny freshwater critters hide under rocks, vegetation, logs, mud, and many are also well-camouflaged, making it almost impossible to spot them. Commonly seen insects such as dragonflies, beetles, mayflies, and moths actually spend 90% of their life as aquatic larvae and are important food for many other animals! The diverse world of benthic macroinvertebrates is mysterious and unlike any other habitat. Streams and lakes can be chaotic and ever changing environments, presenting many challenges for the animals that live there.

Are you interested in stepping into the world of these tiny peculiar animals? On Saturday, May 15, you can! Tweens in grades 3-6, along with one adult caregiver, are invited to join a fascinating creek investigation where we will use nets to catch and identify all kinds of critters, discover how macroinvertebrates are used to determine water quality, and see how amphibians, fish, and aquatic insects work together to create a healthy ecosystem.

This program will take place at Turkey Creek Preserve, located at 2545 Sugar Bottom Rd. NE., Solon, IA 52333. This event will be offered three times during the course of the day - times are available at 10am, 12pm, and 2 pm. You need only register for one time! Please register one adult caregiver and 1-2 children for your group. Groups will be capped at 12 for COVID safety and masks are required for all in attendance.

Snacks to-go will be offered and after your creek-stomping adventure, you are welcome to explore the trails in this stunning nature preserve! Dress to get muddy and maybe a little wet. Email anne-wilmoth@icpl.org with any questions, or follow the links to sign up for the time that works for you:





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