I love to check the community bulletin boards at local coffee shops for news of Valley offerings in arts and culture. I stopped Monday at the Starbucks at McDowell and 7th St. and discovered a poster for the “4th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival.”
This year’s festival takes place Thurs, Aug 18 at the Tempe Center for the Arts. A 5pm reception precedes the 6-9:30pm festival — which features a new film titled “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time.”
The festival will also showcase several “shorter films that cover a variety of environmental issues” — and share a bit about the “Sonoran Desert Western Initiative,” a local campaign to protect West Valley public lands.
The reception features light appetizers and a cash bar, live music by “The Petty Thieves” and a raffle. Special ticket pricing is available for children, students and seniors.
The event has several dozen sponsors, including the Sonoran Institute, Changing Hands Bookstore, the Desert Botanical Garden, Sonoran Desert Heritage and the Phoenix Zoo.
The event is organized by the Arizona Wilderness Coalition. I’m having enough trouble surviving Arizona with all the oddly-named creature comforts we enjoy — like clean water and air conditioning.
I can’t imagine how other creatures, and plants, do the same. It must help that they waste less and depend on each other more. But humans can help too, and the coalition’s website offers plenty of ways to get involved.
Scottsdale Community College has also gone a bit wild — thanks to their Center for Native and Urban Wildlife, which has just announced 2011-12 field trip opportunities for fourth grade classes. The tours, which take place Tuesday and Thursday mornings, are free.
Tour highlights include Toad Hall (home to amphibians, lizards, snakes, arthropods and fish) and the Hall of Biodiversity Past (home to replicas of dinosaur and mammal artifacts, plus a giant wall mural painted by an SCC student).
Also time with birds, such as hawks or owls, handled by Liberty Wildlife — which educates students about their natural history and role in native ecosystems, also suggesting ways to keep native animals from harm.
Students bring lunches, and enjoy a bit of scientific Q & A time after they eat — then end their CNUW experience with a toad calling contest with prizes for the winners (the people, not the toads).
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is presenting “Predators and Prey of Arizona” at The Arboretum at Flagstaff through Sept 23. It’s part of a wildlife program that “educates visitors about the role of plants and animals in a balanced environment.”
“Predators and Prey of Arizona” includes “a zone-tail hawk, a harris hawk, an antelope ground squirrel, and a pocket mouse.” It’s free with arboretum admission and can be viewed Wed-Sun from noon to 2pm. The arboretum is open daily from 9am to 5pm April through October.
Coming up: Art adventures: Las Vegas, No-cost and low-cost concerts