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Wild 'n Scenic

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL, pronounced “circle”), was formed in 1983 to oppose the construction of two dams on the river. Along with successfully halting the construction of the dam, 39 miles of the South Yuba has since been permanently protected. Although SYRCL started as just a small group of concerned citizens, it has evolved into a vibrant community organization. SYRCL’s mission is “to protect and restore the Yuba River and the Greater Yuba Watershed.” They do this to support the native fish that have lived in the river for many generations and also to make sure it remains a clean, recreational area for many years to come. SYRCL sponsors many events and programs annually, including one that we’re excited to highligh today: the Wild & Scenic Film Festival!

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is the world’s largest environmental film festival. This year is the Festival’s tenth year in existence and will include over one hundred films! The festival kicks off every January in Nevada City, California where they show environmental films for three straight days. Last year, 1% for the Planet released [one percent] of the story at this festival, and it was a hit.  Our video was well received, received the 2011 Award from EthicMark Certificate, showed at numerous Wild & Scenic Film Festivals around the country and was the reason for a large amount of new membership inquiries.  Thank you Wild ‘n Scenic!  If you’re wondering if your nonprofit is a fit for this festival, take note that these films encompass a wide range of environmental topics –  adventure, conservation, wildlife, climate change, environmental justice, community activism and agriculture, just to name a few.

After the festival’s first year, SYRCL was so pleased with the turnout that they decided to take the show on the road and offer it in communities across the country. Throughout 2012, the festival will take place at over one hundred venues, including Antarctica! Eighty percent of the venues are hosted by community organizations that have applied for grants through Wild & Scenic, with help from Patagonia. The basic guidelines require that grant recipients use the festival as an outreach tool to increase membership. This allows for smaller communities to increase involvement and learn about a number of environmental issues without doing all of the organizing themselves.  Wild & Scenic will supply the films, PR materials and planning guides, while the organizations just need to secure the venue and organize the local marketing.

(The previous video features The Edible Schoolyard Project, which is a 1% recipient!!) Check out the Wild & Scenic Film Festival’s calendar to see if any venues are nearby, or apply for a grant to host one! We’re thankful for all of the hard work that SYRCL and Wild & Scenic have done over the last decade and are proud to be part of the movement!

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