City develops “Cloudburst” game promoting river protection

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — City Utilities is always looking for ways to educate the community when it comes to our waterways. Its newest tool is a game called “Cloudburst” which offers a unique way to teach others how to prevent pollution of our rivers.

Built off a template of another game from Dartmouth, “Cloudburst” can be played solo or with up to 4 players as you collaborate to stop stormwater from spreading the pollution it picks up from runoff in fields and streets. Players can keep pollution at bay using pollution chips, but when you flip over a card it may add rain or spread pollution in different directions. The goal is to keep the stormwater from spreading any further while also learning real-life applications along the way.

“I really hope that they take that connection, the ‘A-ha’ moment. That they play the game and they understand when they are driving down the street and they see muddy water flowing into a drain, that’s the sediment that was in the game, that’s the erosion,” said Jennifer Lash, a Program Manager with City Utilities.

A game of “Cloudburst” takes about 10 to 15 minutes and is designed in such a way for players to have fun while picking up important messages.

“We’ve built it into the game. One of the messages is, it’s way easier to prevent this than it is to clean up afterward,” explained John Kaufeld, Business Services Coordinator with the City of Fort Wayne, “So as you play the game, one of your decisions is, Do I protect several spaces or do I clean up just one? Well sometimes it makes sense to clean up just one but most of the time it makes sense to protect. So we are trying to get that message across but we are trying to do it in a really subtle way.”

The game is free and can be downloaded here. If you want a hard copy of “Cloudburst” you will have to find the Stormwater Educator when they are out doing presentations throughout the city.

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