Festival teaches Northern students to be eco friendly

Adelle Whitefoot

The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve is organizing the second annual Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival with the help of Students for Sustainable Living and Downwind Sports.

Last year the event was held over two nights and brought in over 150 people. This is one of 115 venues across the country to show the film festival, said Emily Whittaker, executive director of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.

“We’re putting on a series of films that depict different situations that we are all facing globally and locally,” Whittaker said.  “For instance, there is (a film) about stream monitoring.”

The film “Missouri Stream Team” will explain what stream monitoring is, why it’s important, and show a community where that type of project was successful, she said.  Students and people from the community will be introducing all the films to tie what’s going on elsewhere to what is going on locally in our own communities, said Whittaker.

“(The event) is designed to inspire people to take action about anything they are passionate about.  Hopefully it will be environmental issues that they decide to take action on,” Whittaker said.

The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve is a non-profit environmental organization located in Big Bay, Mich. that dedicates its time to water science, outreach, mapping and many more activities aimed at protecting and preserving the Yellow Dog River watershed.

“People should expect a good time at the event and thoughtful ideas,” Whittaker said.  “Hopefully the dialogue can start happening in the community to get some good ideas off the ground.”

Mindy Otto is a fourth year human geography student at Northern and is the president of Students for Sustainable Living.  Otto is in charge of coordinating the event and finding students and people from the community to present  each film that is being shown.

“I’ve been working with people from the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve to get people to present the films in a way that explains how the issue presented in the film is connected to their life and what they do,” Otto said.

Students for Sustainable living is a group of NMU students who come from all different environmental and educational backgrounds.  The organization tries to get involved in the community with people who are interested in sustainable living and to educate students on campus about living sustainably by putting on events, said Otto.

“The (film festival) is a good way and easy way to get educated on issues of water quality, sustainable living and food issues,” Otto said.  “I think it will be entertaining.”

14 films will be shown ranging in length from two to 27 minutes long.  They touch on many different environmental topics such as the act of planting a tree as well as climate change.  Tickets for the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival are $8 for adults, $2 for students and kids 18 and under get in free.

The film festival will take place Thursday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. in Jamrich 103. For more information and to view movie clips, visit www.yellowdogwatershed.org