MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — In honor of the 35th anniversary of the designation of the Merced Wild and Scenic River, the Upper Merced River Watershed Council is organizing the Merced River Fest on April 15th.
Board member Kristina Rylands shares that “This will be a day-long celebration where the community can come together to care for the Merced River, discover new stories and perspectives about essential watersheds like our own, and celebrate all the river has to offer.”
The Merced River Fest will feature two events for river-enthusiasts of all ages.
First, there will be a morning river cleanup from 9 a.m. – noon in Briceburg followed by a free BBQ lunch for volunteers.
In the evening, the Watershed Council will host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at The Grove House (4993 5th Street, Mariposa, CA 95338), featuring a showing of ten awe-inspiring films of stewardship, collaboration, and adventure. From animated shorts depicting the joys of a day on the river or the wonder of bugs, to journeys inspired by the connection of community with the natural world, the films will bring cheers and possibly some tears.
Tickets for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Grove House
4993 5th Street
Mariposa, CA 95338
This evening event also honors this year’s recipient of the Holly Warner Memorial Watershed Steward scholarship given to a Mariposa County High School graduating senior. As a co-founder and decades-long board member of the Watershed Council, Holly was a tireless advocate for protecting the watershed.
The scholarship is given to a MCHS senior who draws inspiration from the river and intends to pursue a study of environmental science in college.
The community is invited to join for a happy hour gathering at The Grove House from 4 – 6 p.m. to learn more about the Council, with the film festival taking place from 6 – 10 p.m.
Also rounding out the River Fest activities will be a raffle and screen-printing from Pathos Screen Printing with art and themes reflecting the river.
This Merced River Fest event is made possible as part of the Council’s two-year planning process to learn more from community members and partner organizations about the unique needs of the Merced Wild and Scenic River and its watershed. Funded by a Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant, this collaborative effort will result in the creation of a Merced River Watershed Work Plan, to be completed by the end of 2023.
The Upper Merced River Watershed Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Mariposa County whose mission is to protect and enhance the Merced Wild and Scenic River and its watershed through education, stewardship, and partnership-based projects.
To learn more — and to register for the river cleanup and purchase tickets for the film festival — visit www.merced-river.org.