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Something in the water at Forestview Middle School

Rachel Cleveland (left) and Taiya Holmberg (right) clean milk jugs in preperatio

It’s not new news that Minnesota is nicknamed “the land of 10,000 lakes” due to the overabundance of clean water available at any given turn in the state the Brainerd lakes area calls home. What may be surprising to hear is that not every country is so blessed.

That’s why Forestview Middle School has joined the H20 for Life project, a program to fund water, sanitation and hygiene education for schools in Nicaragua.

“H20 for Life is a Minnesota-based fundraising program, created to help kids like us in other countries that don’t have clean water,” said eighth-grader Taiya Holmberg, a co-water ambassador for the project. “Our goal is to raise money to help provide a school in Nicaragua with plumbing for bathrooms and clean water for drinking.”

Holmberg said the project’s goal is to raise $1,750, an amount needed by Los Robles — Forestview’s chosen Nicaragua school — for handwashing facilities, bathrooms and clean drinking water. That amount will be matched by a supporting business in Nicaragua.

Kicking off with the Forestview Clean Water Awareness Week, March 5-9, middle schoolers will be educated on water and water conservation tips with the opportunities to get involved in the fundraising.

Students can purchase bracelets, T-shirts and take photos with friends with money going toward the project. The week will end with a community Water Walk from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on March 8, where everyone in the community is invited to participate in a three-mile walk around the school’s indoor track, carrying two gallons of water to emulate what people in Nicaragua face every day.

“We’ve been collecting milk jugs to be used during the walk to show somewhat how much and how far people (in Nicaragua) have to go for clean water,” said Rachel Cleveland, another co-ambassador with Holmberg. “This (two gallons) isn’t even close to what women and children usually carry, typically 60 pounds, for the three miles to the water station and back.

“Still it will be cool to kind of represent that with our walk.”

Crow Wing Recycling is also getting involved, collecting aluminum cans and scrap metal, with money banked in to a Forestview Water Awareness account.

Those would like to make a donation may send checks or a money order to Forestview Middle School’s Sandy Loney 8C, 12149 Knollwood Drive, Baxter, MN 56425.

JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5858 or Follow her on Twitter at