Keeping the Village Alive

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School:  McKim Elementary

Sustainability is a big concept. Thinking about future generations when making everyday decisions doesn’t come naturally for most of us, but it is an important idea if we are to live within the limits of our one planet Earth.

Mrs. Turcon’s class got to practice this concept while trying to keep their “village” alive in the Fishing for Sustainability game. After learning just how many people are on the planet right now and how the population and resources are distributed (hint – we aren’t spread out evenly or fairly), students made decisions about using their own resources to eat, sell fish, and buy other supplies, all in the name of sustainability.

But trying to keep your village alive isn’t as simple as deciding to buy or sell more resources – there are always impacts associated with our actions. What if you have a flood and loose fish? What if your lake gets contaminated? What if there’s a global pandemic that shuts the market down?  What if there’s so much supply and the value of fish decreases? These are just some of the impacts the grade 5/6’s had to  deal with – and some of the villages weren’t prepared. One village didn’t have enough resources to manage their impact, but got creative trading with neighbouring villages, “Wait, what, we die? Well, can we trade?”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. Some of the impacts were good, showing that humans can have a positive impact on our environment. Removing dams, cleaning up lakes, restoring spawning beds. These impacts left the class hopeful.