Grade 5 students received a valuable piece of riverfront property today for which they were given an unlimited budget to design their dream living space. They needed to at least have the essentials on their property: a home, a place to put their waste, a way to get food, and a mode of transportation. When it came to the entertainment factor, there was no skimping, especially since there were no limits. But just because there were no limits does not mean there were no consequences. Since our rivers were part of a larger river and each of our properties connected we found out really quickly that our choices upstream made a big difference for the quality of life downstream. The biggest polluters? Transportation and non-local food sources. Waste disposal was also an issue, something I certainly take for granted. We can’t live surrounded by our waste- but where is this place called Away? This activity provides a little food for thought and perspective for our study of water in Grade 5 Garden. We will study the Trinity Watershed, test the water in Trinity Creek, and participate in a restoration program at the Baylands in order to preserve an important habitat that helps clean our water before it enters the ocean. We all live downstream, but we also live upstream. Our choices make a difference to all our neighbors (human, animal, and plant) and to us!