Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Teach a Man to Fish by Randi Salinas

Teach a Man to Fish & you Have Fed Him For a Lifetime
Randi Salinas
Warner Pacific College
December 18th 2013

Teach a Man to Fish & You Have Fed Him For a Lifetime

            The famous Chinese adage reads as follows: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.  As this proverb continues to resonate deeply in my mind I find that the ability to hold oneself accountable is of upmost importance in regards to how we, as a society, determine the value and importance of our natural resources.  The Lents community right here in southeast Portland, and also the Puget Ridge community in Seattle has determined that raising public awareness through sustainable urban farming, or simply put, community gardens, is one way to become environmentally conscientious. 
            It appears that our society has become accustomed to a lifestyle of convenience.  The problem that I can identify here is that many young adults are unaware of the importance of harvesting your own food supply.  Learning how to grow food under the right conditions is a skill one should not live without.  By having your own personal garden, or a community garden, we can become effective in sustaining our natural environment.  By decreasing the need for purchased items in the grocery store and then by canning your own fruits and vegetables for the off-season, you are conserving energy at a grand scale.  Teaching the community, especially the younger populous, is an invaluable asset that can only strengthen a community, and furthermore give us the knowledge of how to assess our natural resources on a level we can all understand.
            When addressing environmental concerns, such as food supply or land management, we can establish environmental regulations by contacting an agency, such as The Natural Resources Conservation Service where they can give us the technical assistance needed to get a project up and running.  “Conservation technical assistance is the help NRCS and its partners provide to land users to address opportunities, concerns, and problems related to the use of natural resources and to help land users make sound natural resource management decisions on private, tribal, and other non-federal lands” (, 2013).
            In order to be effective in sustaining our environment we need to make informed decisions, and also understand the importance of how making those informed decisions not only affect our current situations, but also how the decisions we make will affect us in the future to come.  By first recognizing and admitting that there is indeed an environmental issue at hand, we can then become advocates for the solution, whatever that may be. 
            Environmental agencies can use tools and fancy equipment to test and give an overall assessment of the quality and or quantity of our natural resources, but we as a society can start by taking accountability for the impact we have on our environment—negative or positive. By acknowledging the information provided to us by these agencies and using the knowledge to teach others, which ultimately has an overall affect on our culture and lifestyle, we can sustain our natural resources as well as our future. 
            Being only takers of our resources in our natural environment will not teach us how to sustain for a lifetime, we must educate ourselves and the public on the footprint we choose to leave behind
Ashton, D. F. (2006). Lents' Children's Garden helps kids grow by teaching the how to gardenRetrieved 12 18, 2013, from

Conlin, R. (2011, 01 27). Making it work. Retrieved 12 18, 2013, from Seattle.Gov:

USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service. (2013). Conservation Planning. Retrieved 12 -18, 2013, from

Withgott, J. &. (2013). Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (5th Ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.

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