25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Outdoors FHS celebrates Earth Day with ‘wild and scenic’ film festival

Students gathered in the Fine Arts Center at FHS to watch a series of short films detailing many of the environmental issues affecting western North Carolina. WNC Alliance provides the films for a free film festival at a local high school and this year, FHS was chosen as the host.Franklin High School hosted a special film festival Monday to celebrate Earth Day. The event was sponsored by FHS' Eco Club along with the Western North Carolina Alliance and allowed students to take a break from the classroom to watch short films featuring current environmental issues that are attracting attention in the United States.

“We've had such a good turnout,” said Sarah Weresuk, a biology and chemistry teacher at FHS. She was approached this year about sponsoring the Eco Club in its inaugural year.

Franklin High School hosted a special film festival Monday to celebrate Earth Day. The event was sponsored by FHS' Eco Club along with the Western North Carolina Alliance and allowed students to take a break from the classroom to watch short films featuring current environmental issues that are attracting attention in the United States.

“We've had such a good turnout,” said Sarah Weresuk, a biology and chemistry teacher at FHS. She was approached this year about sponsoring the Eco Club in its inaugural year.

“We're hoping that more kids will want to join the club after this. It's so important for them to realize that they live in a beautiful place and it needs to be protected. I think sometimes when you grow up somewhere it is hard to see the beauty of it. We're just trying to spread awareness. I would like to see the kids get to do more things in the community.”

A new Chevrolet Volt was on display outside of the cafeteria. Representatives from Jackie Jones Chevrolet were on site to field questions from students about the fully electric vehicle. Gas is only used in the motor to produce more electricity to propel the car.Members of WNC Alliance were also on hand to help with the event. WNCA is a grassroots environmental advocacy group focused on conserving WNC's natural heritage. The group was founded by Macon County citizens in 1982 who hoped to protect the local national forests from oil and gas operations that aimed to start drilling in the mountains. Since then, the alliance has also picketed a proposed nuclear waste dump in Buncombe County, conducted campaigns to cease clear-cutting, helped usher in recycling in many of the western counties, as well as taking stands in many other environmental concerns.

Bill Crawford, member of the Macon County chapter, was instrumental in the mechanics of the film festival. Crawford also approached Jackie Jones Chevrolet about providing a new Chevy Volt to display on campus for the event. The Volt is a plug-in range-extended electric vehicle with an on-board gasoline generator with a large battery that stores power from a home electric outlet and is connected to an electric motor. The battery can power the car for the first 25 to 50 miles. After that, the on-board gasoline generator creates electricity for the motor and therefore the car continues to be propelled by electricity. Students gathered around the car to ask questions about the car's speed and mileage before piling in to the Fine Arts Center for the films.

“The Western North Carolina Alliance sponsored several environmental film festivals last year and this year in Boone, Asheville and at Western Carolina University,” said Crawford. “These have been under the title Wild & Scenic Film Festival and is part of a membership drive for the Alliance. The contract with the organization we got the films from allows a free film festival at a local high school and we chose FHS which had started a new environmental club. The idea for the electric car came from a friend of mine and was a huge success with the cooperation of the local Chevy dealership.”





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