Bluebird Man will be screening at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital on March 17th at 7pm at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.

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We are extremely excited to announce that our film Bluebird Man has won the Eric Moe Sustainability Film Award at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital!  The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital is the largest environmentally-themed event of its kind in the US, and its location in Washington, D.C. makes it an ideal location to screen films with the potential to have an impact on policymaking.

female bluebird at nestboxOf course Bluebird Man is not a political film – it is a conservation success story that demonstrates the ability of one individual to have a positive impact on an ecosystem.  That said – Al Larson’s story has just as much relevancy in our nation’s capital as it does here in Southwestern Idaho.  The movement to reverse bluebird declines across North America actually began in the late 1970s with the founding of the North American Bluebird Society, whose original headquarters was in Silver Spring, Maryland – just outside of Washington, D.C.

The North American Bluebird Society was founded based on the idea of creating a network of citizen scientists all across the continent who could contribute to bluebird recovery by setting up nest boxes for bluebirds.  Al was one of the first to become inspired to act on this new idea, setting up his first bluebird nest boxes in 1978, and over the past 38 years this effort has not only succeeded in reversing bluebird declines, but it laid the groundwork for countless other citizen science initiatives.

So showcasing Al’s story, and the story of this hugely successful citizen science program, in our nation’s capital this March will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this success.  We are extremely grateful to the folks from the D.C. Environmental Film Festival for selecting our film for this prestigious award, and for giving Al’s life work the recognition that it deserves.

Al bluebird trail smilePossibly what is most exciting for me about this opportunity is the fact that Al will be traveling with me to Washington, D.C. for the screening!  I was very doubtful that Al would feel up to this when festival programming director Brad Forder initially asked me if Al could attend the event, (Al once told me that he was done with plane travel) but was delighted when Al agreed to join me for this East coast trip.

The Eric Moe Sustainability Film Award was created several years back by Julia and Richard Moe in memory of their son Eric to honor his strong interest in film and commitment to the environment.  The award is designed to recognize the best short films that present innovative solutions to issues in sustainability.

The most innovative thing about Al’s approach towards sustainability is quite simple actually; perseverance.  Many thousands of people monitor and maintain bluebird nest boxes all across North America, but there are few who have been monitoring so many nest boxes for such a long time; in Al’s case over 300 nest boxes for 37 years running.  We strongly believe that there is an important sustainability message here, and we are very excited to be bringing this message to our nation’s capital.

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