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OUR GEM: Wild and Scenic Film Festival returns March 24

| March 19, 2023 1:00 AM

The Kootenai Environmental Alliance/Lake Coeur d’Alene Waterkeeper is pleased to present the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Friday, March 24 at the Schuler Performing Arts Center on the North Idaho College campus.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., films begin at 6:30. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.kealliance.org/wsff.

As the Lake Coeur d’Alene Waterkeeper, KEA is hosting the Wild and Scenic Film Festival to inform locals about water issues, to build community and conversation around protecting our lake and keeping our water safe for kids, and to inspire us to take action and help protect our best asset: Coeur d’Alene Lake and the watershed that surrounds it. The film festival is an extension of KEA’s work to inspire people to experience and become stewards of the great outdoors.

For us, it’s all about clean, safe water for our kids, and their kids, too.

For 50 years, KEA has been active in our community working to protect our environment. Since 2014, KEA has been an affiliate member of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international organization and a global movement of community-based advocates united for clean, healthy and abundant water for all and for the planet, connecting local Waterkeeper groups worldwide.

In a 2020 survey of our membership, 88% asked us to focus on water — working to educate and advocate for our lake and surrounding watershed. KEA did just that, becoming a full member of Waterkeeper Alliance in 2021. This level of involvement with Waterkeeper Alliance provides us the support of an international organization, working on the same mission, and providing us guidelines, standards and support making our efforts more effective when lobbying for water protection.

“As a member of Waterkeeper, we have the help we need to create a community around a real emotional issue, the environment," said Shelley Austin, executive director of KEA and member of the Waterkeeper Regional Council.

KEA raises funds and awareness to teach students and the public about our mission to conserve, protect and restore Coeur d’Alene Lake and the Coeur d’Alene watershed. KEA provides education programs, hosts conversational Talk-Oh! Tuesdays, citizen science classes, boat tours, shoreline hikes and more. KEA participates in local Watershed and basin advisory committees as well as the governor of Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Lake Advisory Committee.

“The Wild & Scenic Film Festival brings us films that remind us we are all in this together," said Cynthia Rozyla, KEA board president. "The films we chose enable to us to highlight local environmental issues and inspire action, increase our awareness in the community, recruit new members and raise critical funds for our organization. We have an incredible lineup of films this year that will excite and energize our audience. We’ve chosen films that directly relate to our area and the wealth of natural outdoor opportunities that surround us. Our goal is to encourage each participant to help us protect, conserve and advocate for our lake and watershed.”

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival inspires environmental activism and a love for nature through film. Wild & Scenic shares an urgent call to action, encouraging festival-goers to learn more about what they can do to save our threatened planet and how to address similar local environmental concerns. Transforming film-goers into activists is the mission, accomplished in a festival setting. Festival-goers are treated to a wide variety of award-winning films, including those about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy, wildlife and environmental justice.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival combines stellar filmmaking and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire, and ignite passions and generate solutions to restore the earth and to create a positive future for generations to come.

This festival is a memorable event for the whole family. One thing to note: These are not films for kids. We think they'll like them but we can't guarantee that no foul words will pop up. In general, these films are family friendly.

Join us for raffles, fun, fabulous prizes and some great films celebrating the beauty and wonder of our natural world.

For more information, visit www.kealliance.org/wsff.

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The Our Gem Coeur d’Alene Lake Collaborative is a team of committed and passionate professionals working to preserve lake health and protect water quality by promoting community awareness of local water resources through education, outreach and stewardship. Our Gem includes local experts from the University of Idaho Community Water Resource Center, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Kootenai Environmental Alliance, Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber of Commerce and Cd'A 2030.