The public is invited to attend a free film festival to view student multimedia projects that explore how Carson River riparian areas benefit the community and need to be protected by the public. The festival will be held on January 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Carson City Sheriff’s Office, 911 E. Musser St.

Refreshments will be served, and a feature film about stream restoration will also be shown.

The video and slide-show projects are contestants in the Carson River Coalition Education Working Group’s “Keep Streamsides Greener, Keep Water Cleaner” contest, which will award a cash prize of $500 in each of four categories.

The contest was open to students in the ninth through 12th grades of Carson and Douglas high schools and Carson Valley and Pau-Wa-Lu middle schools. The entries had to be one to three minutes long, and were required to address this theme: How Carson River riparian areas benefit you and your community, and how to get people involved in riparian area preservation.Entries were judged on creativity, effective, quality of execution and compliance with contest rules and specifications.

The contest working group includes the Carson River Coalition’s Education Working Group, the Carson Water Subconservancy District, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and River Wranglers. Prizes will be awarded to the best individual video, team video, individual animated slide show and team animated slide show. Also, each winning entry’s sponsoring teacher will earn $100.

Although each entrant or team had a sponsoring teacher to encourage participation and provide general guidance, students developed their own concepts and entries.

Dr. Susan Donaldson, a water quality expert with Cooperative Extension and a contest organizer, said the contest gives students an appreciation of how riparian areas provide important wildlife habitat and help keep the river clean by filtering runoff.

“Healthy, diverse riparian areas store water and help reduce floods, filter water and keep it cool and provide a place for recreation,” said Donaldson, who takes field trips to the river with certain classes. “They add to our quality of life.”

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