Wild & Scenic Volunteers Shine Brightly

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By: Jenn Tamo

Downtown NC at night

SYRCL sends a huge heartfelt thanks to the nearly 700 volunteers who synergistically transformed Nevada City and Grass Valley into a bustling, festive, inviting venue for the 14th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival.  Iconic green and blue flags hand-placed by volunteers adorned each lamppost on Broad Street in Nevada City.  The 2016 Wild & Scenic banner draped across Mill Street in Grass Valley, while hand-painted salmon danced on storefront windows.  Local artwork, of all mediums, was showcased in restaurants, shops and tasting rooms throughout these two charming towns, in celebration of all things wild and scenic.

salmon on storefronts

Just the Start

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival, the namesake of the California Wild and Scenic Rivers protection that covers 39 miles of the South Yuba River, was created in 2003.  In the beginning, the film festival took place in Nevada City alone.  Now, 14 years later, this festival has evolved.  Not only does Wild and Scenic show incendiary, inspiring, and evocative films in ten film venues, over the course of five days, but the Home Fest is just the beginning.  The film festival will bring the message of conservation, activism, and the need to create A Change of Course to more than 150 communities across the globe in 2016, via SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic On Tour program.


Over the years, volunteer participation has paralleled the growth of the festival, and it truly takes a village to produce this five-day event!  On behalf of the Board of Directors and SYRCL staff, I would like to extend my gratitude to the vast number of volunteers who generously offered their time, resources and energy to make this beautiful event achievable.

Wild and Scenic is made possible by more than 30 volunteer teams, who have their hands and hearts in every aspect of the festival.  From the Jury and Program Committee who hand-picked the stellar films which comprised the 2016 lineup, to the volunteers who tirelessly prepped supplies and helped with festival setup, to the Cleanup Crew packing materials in the rain Sunday—our sincerest THANKS go out to you.

Thank you to the volunteers: who shuttled filmmakers back and forth from the airport to sweet Nevada County; who opened their homes and made speakers and filmmakers feel comfortable and welcome; who served as tech crew and emcee teams that helped facilitate phenomenal question and answer segments adding depth and dynamism to each film session.

MF Bar Concessions

We appreciate the volunteers who kept the beer and kombucha flowing, the popcorn popping, and our venues clean and tidy.  Thank you to the pass checkers, the ushers and the tech crew who kept our films playing on time and created a world-class experience for Wild & Scenic patrons.  A huge thank you goes out to our Venue Coordinators who fielded questions, kept us up to date on venue capacities, and who kept the venues running smoothly from sun-up to sun-down.

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its PartsSDykstra-21

The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts with the Wild & Scenic film festival and each role is vital.  Whether you helped educate attendees about how best to reduce landfill waste, played the part of the Wild Card and filled in wherever needed, or helped collect signatures to send to Governor Jerry Brown, please know you made an important impact on the 2016 festival.

I am grateful for your help producing this event and hope you will join us again in 2017.  We will be sending around a survey soon requesting your feedback about how we can make this event even better in the future.  Please let us know what you think, or email me directly at Jenn@syrcl.org.

Wild and Scenic Volunteers shine brightly—thanks for setting a sparkling tone for 2016—I do hope to see you soon!

All my best,
Jenn Tamo
River People Manager

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