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Young winners abound in 2010 Carson River Video Contest

Posted 2/10/2011

Sue Donaldson and EVMS team.

by Robert Mills

Grinning middle- and high-school-aged youths shared the stage at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) and Carson River Coalition Education Working Group’s “Keep Streamsides Greener, Keep Water Cleaner” film contest recently at the Carson City Sherriff’s Building. Several of the students took home awards, including two $250 grand prizes. Sharing the spotlight with the young filmmakers was another honored guest: The Carson River and its many miles of endangered riparian land.

Student contestants wrote, shot and produced their own short videos focusing on the preservation, protection and restoration of the Carson River and the “buffer zone” that exists between the stream and trafficked uplands.

According to one winning video by Elizabeth Jarett, 80 percent of wildlife relies on a healthy riparian zone even though only 1 percent of the land in Nevada is riparian.

Contestants were judged on their creativity, cinematography, technicality, originality and quality of musical score. The most successful videos in the contest featured a “call to action” — prompting viewers to take part in the protection of riparian areas by picking up litter, reporting illegal dumping and spreading the word that these oft-overlooked regions are critical to the success of Nevada wildlife.

More than 40 guests, friends and family attended the event, and UNCE Water Quality Specialist Sue Donaldson said 2010’s selection of videos was especially moving.

"This year’s batch of entries was particularly polished and inspiring," Donaldson said.

Winners (by category) included:

  • Best Technical Production: "Carson River — On the Brink of Extinction," by Curtis DeVore and Mark Lacey, Carson High School
  • Best Cinematograpy: "Carson River — Cleaning Up the Natural Beauty," by Tyler Kerver and Andrew Peckham, Carson High School
  • Most Original: "A Day at the River," Eagle Valley Middle School, by Chris Nerska (teacher) and students Scarlett Baeza, Mariah Brooks, Fred Christensen, Darnel George, Tori King, Kaylin Marler, Valerie Meister and Arianna Schmidt
  • Best Original Music Score: "The Carson River," by Elizabeth Jarett, Carson High School
  • Most Liked in Facebook: "A Day at the River," Eagle Valley Middle School, by Chris Nerska (teacher) and students Scarlett Baeza, Mariah Brooks, Fred Christensen, Darnel George, Tori King, Kaylin Marler, Valerie Meister and Arianna Schmidt
  • Audience Favorite: "Carson River — On the Brink of Extinction," by Curtis DeVore and Mark Lacey, Carson High School
  • $250 Grand prize winners:
  • Middle School Video: "A Day at the River," Eagle Valley Middle School, Chris Nerska (teacher) and students Scarlett Baeza, Mariah Brooks, Fred Christensen, Darnel George, Tori King, Kaylin Marler, Valerie Meister and Arianna Schmidt
  • High School Video: "The Carson River," by Elizabeth Jarett, Carson High School

Donaldson said the “Keep Streamsides Greener, Keep Water Cleaner” event helps Nevada youths understand the importance of Nevada riparian areas while encouraging them to use newer technologies to help spread awareness.

The Carson River Coalition Education Working Group includes the Audubon Society, Carson Water Subconservancy District, Clear Creek Watershed Council, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, River Wranglers, The Nature Conservancy, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and River Wranglers.

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