Nestlé Waters-Sponsored Festivals Reach More Than 6,000 People in 2017

Students gathered in McBee to learn about waterStudents gathered in McBee to learn about water For nearly 20 years, Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) has been sponsoring water festivals across the United States and Canada. In 2017, 10 Make a Splash (MAS) and World Water Day festivals were held in eight U.S. states and one Canadian province. In total, some 130 volunteers from 9 NWNA plants helped reach 6,133 people with hands-on educational activities.

Organizers of the one of the festivals held in Poland Spring, Maine, reported that "presenters and exhibitors come from all over Maine, representing a wide variety of stakeholders concerned with water issues." At the other Poland Spring festival, which is held along a river, organizers noted that the location allows students to "conduct biological, chemical, and physical assessments of the river". Students at that festival also participated in water cycle education activities.

Students and parents competed in several events as part of the H2Olympics activity at the Guelph festival in Canada Students and parents competed in several events as part of the H2Olympics activity at the Guelph festival in Canada In Zephyrhills, Florida, NWNA plant volunteers served as group leaders and "led everyone in group cheers as they traveled from station to station." In Big Rapids, Michigan, some 270 area third graders attended this year’s festival, and all students and volunteers received t-shirts. In McBee, South Carolina, students "learned about the water cycle and how water quality affects living creatures", "took part in a relay competition that taught them about water scarcity, global water issues and the importance of conservation" and "learned about the important role water plays in the health of their body." In addition to NWNA volunteers, students from the McBee High School Chapter of Future Farmers of America helped lead the more than 75 fourth graders who took part in the event.

Poland Spring participants received free t-shirts as part of the festivalPoland Spring participants received free t-shirts as part of the festival In the Canadian province of Ontario, festival activities included a family-friendly H2Olympics competition as well as activities specially prepared for younger children. Fourth graders in Tennessee near NWNA's Red Boiling Springs plant took part in seven stations to learn about the water cycle, streams, hydration and other topics. All students received a copy of the Discover the Waters of Tennessee KIDs activity booklet. In Pennsylvania's Lehigh River Watershed, more than 1,200 students from three counties had the opportunity to visit 22 different activity stations.

Some festivals included special guests. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol were a part of the Zephyrhills festival , while Dewey the Water Drop and the Lehigh Valley Beekeepers appeared at Pennsylvania festival. In Poland Spring, local police and firefighters showed up to take part.

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