Bayou Land Conservancy's annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival goes virtual May 11-15

The virtual festival is free to anyone who is interested, and each of the three video packages will be available to watch from May 11-15. (Courtesy Bayou Land Conservancy)
The virtual festival is free to anyone who is interested, and each of the three video packages will be available to watch from May 11-15. (Courtesy Bayou Land Conservancy)

The virtual festival is free to anyone who is interested, and each of the three video packages will be available to watch from May 11-15. (Courtesy Bayou Land Conservancy)

In adherence with social distancing guidelines, the Bayou Land Conservancy's sixth annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival—typically an in-person event—will go virtual May 11-15.

While the organization traditionally has held the environmental-themed film festival in August at a local movie theater, Executive Director Jill Boullion said this year the BLC decided to move the annual event up to June when children are not heading back to school.

"Theaters could possibly be open by then and operating, but we just felt like people weren't really going to be really comfortable sitting in a theater with 200 other people and that it would be safer for our members and friends if we could find a way to bring the festival to them at home," she said.

To find a solution, Boullion said she reached out to the festival's producer, the South Yuba River Citizens League, which already had a virtual festival option available that is broken down into three age-appropriate educational programs: kindergarten-fourth grade, fifth grade-eighth grade and ninth-12th grade. Each program is roughly 44-50 minutes long.

"We wanted to do that because it's getting towards the end of the school year, and we know parents have been home with their kids and have probably been a lot more involved with their schoolwork than they ever have before," Boullion said. "So we thought that this would be a great way to give them some really cool educational content that would maybe take the heat off the parents a little bit."


The virtual festival is free to anyone who is interested, and each of the three video packages will be available to watch from May 11-15. To receive a link to view the films, Boullion said viewers only need to sign up for the Bayou Land Conservancy's newsletter by clicking here.

"We normally have attendance between 200-300 people at the theater, and we have over 3,000 people right now on our email list, so we feel like there's opportunity there for us to reach a lot more people than we would if people were required to come to a theater," Boullion said. "So we're actually pretty excited about it; it's something new, and if it's successful we may decide to do it again."

Festival sponsorships are also available with amounts ranging from $100-$750.

In addition to changes to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Boullion said the coronavirus has also affected many other Bayou Land Conservancy programs.

Boullion said the nonprofit had to cancel the spring classes of both its Spring Creek Greenway Ambassador adult education program and its No Child Left Inside youth program, although she hopes to relaunch both programs in the fall.

In addition, Boullion said the pandemic has made it more challenging for the Bayou Land Conservancy staff to monitor each of its 61 preserves, which span across the Greater Houston area from Bryan to Beaumont.

"Some of those monitoring visits require ATVs or canoes or kayaks, and we normally meet the landowner out there, so it's been really challenging because a lot of the landowners aren't able to get out there, or or they're not comfortable coming out, or they don't want us to do the monitoring right now—so that's been a really big challenge for us," she said.

In the interim, Boullion added the Bayou Land Conservancy has moved a lot of its educational content online, including its Ask an Ecologist series, which is hosted by the nonprofit's Land Stewardship Director Suzanne Simpson and airs via Facebook Live on Thursdays at 3 p.m.

"She's been covering all kinds of cool stuff like snakes, how to keep snakes out of your yard, Earth Day and this last weekend was the City Nature Challenge, so she talked about that, so she's been talking about a lot of cool stuff and answering questions, so that's been fun," Boullion said.

Additionally, Boullion said as parks, nature trails and preserves become more crowded with people trying to get out of the house, the Bayou Land Conservancy also offers a virtual tour of its Spring Creek Nature Trail.

"You don't even have to be on the trail to do that tour. So if somebody isn't able to get outside right now but still wants to learn more about the Spring Creek Greenway and the history and the plants and animals out there and all that kind of stuff, that eco tour would be a fun and easy way to do that," Boullion said.
By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


MOST RECENT

The city of Houston confirmed only 204 new cases July 8, down from over 1,000 July 7, a discrepancy that officials attributed to a "computer system slowdown." (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirs count: 701 new cases confirmed as hospitalizations hold steady July 8

The city of Houston confirmed only 204 new cases July 8—down from over 1,000 July 7—a discrepancy that officials attributed to a "computer system slowdown."

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.

Home sales were up across most pricing categories in Houston in June, with a 15.7% jump as compared to the same period last year. (Community Impact staff)
Despite COVID-19, year-over-year Houston-area home sales up nearly 16% in June

Home sales were up across most pricing categories in Houston in June, with a 15.7% jump as compared to the same period last year.

Emler Swim School operates 28 year-round locations in Texas and Kansas. (Courtesy Emler Swim School)
Emler Swim School now offering interactive lessons online

Families can choose to receive training via weekly video calls or through instructional videos online.

Eligible businesses in Harris County may receive a grant of up to $25,000. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Applications open soon for Harris County's $30 million small business assistance program

Eligible small businesses may receive a grant of up to $25,000 to cover payroll costs, rent and other operating expenses.

Angie Spargur, LSC-Kingwood Return to Building coordinator, helps students and employees check in before entering the building. (Courtesy Lone Star College)
Lone Star College announces plans for fall reopening

Lone Star College is opening this fall with a combination of online and in-person classes.

The gaming center hosted individual gaming, tournaments and lock-ins, and it also featured a private room to host birthday parties and team-building events. (Courtesy Contender eSports)
Contender eSports announces permanent closure on Spring Cypress Road

According to the post, the business will begin liquidation sales soon, and final pricing on all the equipment will be posted via the business's social media.

The healthy grab-and-go concept offers freshly prepared prepackaged snacks and meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that cater to a variety of nutritional and dietary needs. (Courtesy Balanced Foods)
Balanced Foods now open on Louetta Road near The Vintage

In addition to in-store pickup, Balanced Foods also offers online ordering and local delivery.

The 1,535 new cases is the second largest number of new cases to be reported in a single day in the county, behind only the 1,994 cases reported June 22. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,535 new cases, six deaths confirmed July 7

See the latest data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Harris County.

Steve Bezner, senior pastor of Houston Northwest Church on Hwy. 249, is one of four pastors who are urging pastors across the region to work together in seeking unity. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
4 Houston-area pastors take steps urging racial unity across region

"We wanted to unite as many pastors as possible around some basic common denominators that we felt like could make a real impact in our city and move some things forward in the area of racial injustice in our city," said Jason Shepperd, the lead pastor of Church Project in The Woodlands.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.