The Bay Institute’s STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed) program is the subject of a new documentary. The film, A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW, depicts the 18-year history of STRAW’s successful efforts to restore creekside habitat throughout the North Bay. The film uses historical footage of participating kids when they were 4th graders and interviews with them now as adults.
MMWD has been part of the STRAW story since the beginning, helping to fund this project in its early stages through the Friends of the Watershed Fund. Laurette Rogers, who is now a staff member at The Bay Institute, started what became the STRAW program with her students when she was a teacher at Brookside Elementary School in San Anselmo. A simple question—What can we do to save endangered species?—inspired the students to adopt the California freshwater shrimp and work to restore its habitat. Since then, STRAW has involved over 25,000 students and restored 20 miles of creeks.
The film won the “Spirit of Activism” award at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, and STRAW hopes to raise enough money to show the film at other film festivals and education and restoration conferences across the U.S. On March 3, MMWD’s Board of Directors approved a grant of $5,000 towards this outreach effort from the Friends of the Watershed Fund.
Watch a preview of the film here.