Terrific world premiere tonight in San Francisco of A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW the inspiring and moving film about students and teachers restoring a Sonoma, CA watershed. The video captures a 4th grade class project in 1992 that grows into bigger program that has restored over 20 miles of local riparian habitat.
STRAW stands for “Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed” and is run through the The Bay Institute based in Novato, CA. The group provides teachers and students with scientific, educational and technical resources to help them do hands-on, outdoor watershed studies and restoration.
For the past 17 years, STRAW has helped 16,000 students plant over 33,000 native plants along urban and rural creeks to help restore these fragile ecosystems in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano Counties. It started out as 4th grade project dubbed “The Shrimp Club” with a plan to save the California freshwater shrimp or Syncaris pacifica.
San Francisco filmmakers, Kevin White and David Donnefield used archive and recent footage in this 35 minute film, capturing the beauty of kids connecting with the natural environment. You can really see the changes as the trees and shrubs planted take shape. The projects has also been instrumental in helping attract more birds to these riparian ecosystems.
One of the beauties of the film is the teachers refueled by passion for environmental education with hands on science activities with their students.
Note: The film has been chosen to screen at the 8th Annual Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival held in Nevada City, CA. Tickets and information are available at www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/