A group of sophomores – who are investigating macroinvertebrates in the Bronx River as part of their biology classes – traveled to Teatown Lake Reservation on Oct. 23 to conduct a variety of water quality studies and gain more knowledge about watersheds.
Under the guidance of their science teachers Amy Bastone and Charles Ippolito, the students hiked around the property, discussed the importance of trees, used an interactive topographic design table, participated in a water cycle activity, saw evidence of beavers and discussed how watersheds get polluted. They also walked into the streams to make observations about the macroinvertebrates living in the freshwater ecosystem, tested the water for pH, took the water temperature and dissolved oxygen levels, and discussed the landscape’s role in helping clean the water and stabilize the soil.
“We are doing a lab with macroinvertebrates in the Bronx River and we thought it would be interesting for the students to compare an upstate watershed with our watershed,” Bastone said. “Since biology is the study of life, we are using the biodiversity of life in these areas to understand the health of the Bronx River.”
Teatown Lake Reservation is a nonprofit, 1,000-acre nature preserve and environmental education center located in the towns of Cortlandt, New Castle and Yorktown.
When the students returned to their classrooms, they reflected on the trip and compared their findings at Teatown, a protected watershed, to the data they’ve collected at the Bronx River.