Tag Archives: Missouri River Relief

4th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival takes to the screen

2014_MRR_Wild&Scenic 8x14 flierJoin Missouri River Relief (MRR) and The Blue Note when they host the fourth annual Wild and Scenic Traveling Film Festival in Columbia on Sunday, February 9.  It’s an afternoon benefit of inspiring and eye-opening documentaries. Doors open at 1 p.m. and select films will be screened from 2 to 5 p.m., followed by a silent auction and raffle. Local musicians David Dearnley and Sam Shin will be playing before and after the films.

The W&S film fest will feature environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment.  This year’s selections focus on the connection between humans and the world we live in.

Trailer, Fighting For the Futaleufú from stephanie haig on Vimeo.

The Film Lineup includes Fighting For the Futaleufu, Dying Green, The Last Ice Merchant, Backyard, Of Souls + Water and a number of creative and inspiring shorts. “Backyard” is one of the most challenging films, focusing on the effects of fracking on the Missouri River watershed. A special treat will be a short film by Romanian MU grad student Roxi Pop about MRR called “Pelican Island Adventure”

“This keeps growing every year,” said Missouri River Relief program manager Steve Schnarr. “People love the opportunity to get together in the winter and spend a few hours being transported to beautiful places while learning about important and powerful environmental issues. This year’s focus on rivers and water is a perfect fit for our work on the Missouri River.”

A lot of the work and ideas for the festival come from the River Relief’s volunteer crew. “These folks love working together, for the community and for the river,” Schnarr said. “By the time February comes around they’re ready to get to work. Everyone has a lot of fun with this.”

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour allows organizations across the country to select award winning films that speak to their region, their audience and their issues. Hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival is a natural extension of Missouri River Relief’s work to inspire people to act on behalf of their environment, as their mission has been to connect people to the Missouri River through hands-on river clean-ups and education.

The organization emerged organically in 2001 from a small group of people in mid-Missouri with a love for the Missouri River who simultaneously recognized the need for engaged stewardship and the desire of citizens to take part in watershed solutions.  In just ten years, Missouri River Relief has made a visible & lasting difference in over 20 communities, bringing together more than 16,000 volunteers to haul more than 1 million pounds of trash (676 tons to be exact) from the banks and floodplain of the Missouri River.

OF SOULS + WATER: THE NOMAD from NRS Films on Vimeo.

“Films featured at Wild & Scenic give people a sense of place,” said Tour Manager, Susie Sutphin. “In our busy lives, it’s easy to get disconnected from our role in the global ecosystem.  When we realize that the change we need in this world begins with us we can start making a difference.  Come watch and see!”

The Columbia screening of the festival is supported locally by The Blue Note with a special grant from Patagonia. The festival’s alliance of National Partners helps make the traveling tour possible thanks to Patagonia, Clif Bar, Osprey Packs, Kanteen Klean, Grist.org, Tom’s of Maine and Sierra Nevada Brewing.

Tickets are $10 and all proceeds will benefit Missouri River Relief!  Students are $6 and kids 8 and under are free.  For more info. about the festival & films go to www.riverrelief.org or simply reserve your tickets by calling the Blue Note at 573-874-1944.

Together we can take action for the health and beauty of our river!


Date and Time:  Sunday, Feb. 9

Doors open at 1 p.m. Films run from 2 to 5 p.m. followed by silent auction. Local musicians David Dearnley and Sam Shin will be performing before and after the films.

Location: The Blue Note, 17 N. 9th Street, Columbia MO

Tickets: $10.  Students are $6 with an ID. Kids 8 and under free.

Tickets can be purchased through the Blue Note’s  box office (573) 874-1944

More information at:  www.riverrelief.org

Big Tree owner in the Big Muddy Speaker Series

The presentation will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8 at the Les Bourgeois Bistro in Rocheport.

Short-eared owl at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. Photo by Benjamin Zack.

John Sam Williamson’s family has been farming the McBaine bottoms along the Missouri River for six generations. They’ve fought floods, droughts and the changes of the river while taking care of the rich bottomland and growing food for the country.

There’s a lot going on in the McBaine bottoms, including Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, the Columbia Water Treatment Plant and well field and the much revered site of the state record bur oak tree, which Williamson and his family have been taking care of for generations. Williamson is also the president of the McBaine Levee and Drainage District and treasurer of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

John will share some of his family history in the area and bring the story to the present, where changes in the management of the Missouri River mean changes in the ways farmers deal with levees.


  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in the lower level. You can either enter at the restaurant entrance then go down the stairs to your left past the bar, or you can follow the walk to the right of the restaurant and enter through a glass door into the lower level.
  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO (click for Google Map)

For more information, visit Missouri River Relief’s page for the Big Muddy Speaker Series.

Is your life too plastic? “Bag It” film screening next week.

Missouri River Relief, Sustain Mizzou and the Missouri River Communities Network will host a free screening of the award winning film “Bag It” on Monday, April 23rd at 7 p.m. in Strickland 204 on the MU Campus.

Try going a day without plastic.  Plastic is everywhere and infiltrates our lives in unimaginable and frightening ways.  Most of what we eat and drink, and the products we purchase, are packaged and wrapped in petroleum plastic – a material designed to last forever, yet used for products that most people use once and throw away.

In this touching and often funny film, we follow “everyman” Jeb Berrier, who is admittedly not a tree hugger, as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic as it relates to our throw-away mentality, our culture of convenience, our over-consumption of unnecessary, disposable products and packaging – things that we use one time and then, without another thought, throw away.

But where is away? Away is overflowing landfills, clogged rivers, islands of trash in our oceans and even our very own toxic bodies. We see how our “crazy-for-plastic” world has finally caught up to us and what we can do about it.

The average American uses about 500 plastic bags each year, for about 12 minutes each. This single-use mentality for plastics has contributed to the formation of a floating island of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean. The North Pacific Gyre is an area roughly twice the size of Texas, some say as big as the United States.

Featuring interviews with scientists and experts from around the world, Bag It is a first-person documentary in the style of Michael Moore, asking how we can incorporate healthy, more environmentally friendly practices into our lives, our cultures, and our communities.

“I didn’t expect a movie about plastic bags to change my life in such a deep and profound way.  Gripping, funny, intelligent, and sure to change your life.”

–  Louie Psihoyos, Director of The Cove

This free and open to the public screening is brought to you by Missouri River Relief, Sustain Mizzou & Missouri River Communities Network.  Please join us on Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m. to learn more about how plastic affects our world and what we can do about it as we kick-off Sustainability Week.  If you don’t do anything else on Earth Day this April, come see this film and bring a friend.

Fore more information about plastic in our environment and its effects, check out Melanie Cheney’s blog, Plastic Soup News.

Get wild. See some scenes. Film festival this Saturday!

Join Missouri River Relief at The Blue Note in Columbia THIS SATURDAY, 2-6 P.M. as they kick off another year of river clean-up and education with a showing of select films from the travelling Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Films to open your eyes and stimulate your mind.

Films like this:

Africa Revolutions Tour
Journey with seven longtime friends to discover and explore the rivers of Southern Africa. Along their adventure the team works closely with the Sun Catchers Project, bringing solar cooking ovens and water purification into communities in Africa.

Tickets are $8, but students get a $2 discount with their I.D.!


1 p.m. –  Doors open at the Blue Note
2 p.m. –  Films begin (General Admission Seating)
3:15 p.m. –  Intermission
5 p.m. – Social hour and Silent Auction!
9 p.m. – Come back to the Blue Note with your Wild & Scenic ticket stub for free admission to One More Round – a really great Johnny Cash cover band from St. Lou!

Click here to RSVP on Facebook, then invite your friends!

Upcoming Event: “The Secret Life of Sturgeon” 6/12

This sturgeon's looking pre-ty pallid . . .

On Tuesday, July 12 at 7:00 p.m. US Geological Survey biologist Emily Pherigo will take a look beneath the muddy water of the Missouri River at the discoveries that have been made about the life cycle, migration and spawning of the pallid sturgeon. The FREE presentation will be held in the lower level of the beautiful Les Bourgeois Bistro in Rocheport, MO, overlooking the Overton Bottom Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge.

Called “The Secret Life of Sturgeon”, the presentation is part of the “Big Muddy Speaker Series”, a monthly series of  talks about the Missouri River hosted by a partnership of Missouri River Relief, Friends of Big Muddy, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge and Les Bourgeois Vineyards.

Continue reading Upcoming Event: “The Secret Life of Sturgeon” 6/12