What a fantastic way to start the week at Courageous Sailing in Charlestown. As we got to Courageous we set up our lobster traps, baited our hooks, and prepared a special activity for the kids! The activity, known as "Run River" is all about raising environmental awareness when discussing how we get our fresh water, food, and dispose of our waste here in Boston. The kids were divided into three groups and given a white board with a mountain, river or island setting and were given the instructions to create your own town, making sure to include a fresh water source, food source, waste disposal, energy source, and of course a creative town name!
Discussing Run River
After all the towns were created, each group was given the additional task of presenting their town and fielding questions by their peers in regards to their town. As the kids discussed desalination plants, wind turbines, and solar power all the Save the Harbor staff was truly impressed with the incredible ideas being thrown around. After the last of the presentations we collected all the white boards and laid them down next to each other to reveal that all of the towns were connected by one river!
All of our Towns Connected
We then were able to discuss how we all affected one another, especially when it came to the disposal of our waste. Several of the towns "upstream" had disposed of the waste down the river and we talked about how it would then pollute the fresh water source for the other towns, and eventually end up in the ocean. We then talked to the kids about how our waste used to be dumped in Boston Harbor, but was now pumped to Deer Island for treatment, then safely released nine miles off shore as a way to clean up our harbor. As we wrapped up our activity by discussing ways to improve our towns that we had created, the STH/STB staff was impressed and touched when Hannah, part of the island community, suggested a great idea. She suggested that the very top community of the river build a pipe that lead through each of the other communities to bring the waste to the island, where they would build a treatment plant to treat all the waste water to be disposed of safely and responsibility. It was incredible to see each kid participate and problem solve, and it was evident that we all learned something new about our Harbor and how important it is to keep clean and conserve it for future generations.
And as always-take chances, ask questions, get messy! Sarah B