Hay River celebrated Earth Day with cleanups and Disney environment-related movie showings throughout the day on April 22.

Louise Schumann of Arctic Energy Alliance partnered with Ecology North and the library to combine cleanups with the release of films The Polar Bear and Explorer: The Last Tepui.

Schumann said there were close to 30 people involved in the Friday afternoon cleanup.

Later in the evening, four adults picked up garbage in and around The Rooster convenience store.

The Last Tepui features mountain climbers scaling a towering, 300-metre cliff in Guyana to seek rare flora and fauna.

Some of the filmmakers involved in the project happened to be in Hay River on Earth Day. They answered questions from audience members in attendance.

Drew Pulley, producer and director of the film; Renan Ozturk, director; and Mark Synnott, one of the climbers; were present to watch with a crowd of about 14 people.

The film shows the crew travelling through dense jungle to reach a tepui with 80-year old biologist Bruce Means to help him collect samples of biological species he seeks. The film follows Synnott and Alex Honnold as they scale the tepui to reach the top.

The filmmakers that were in Hay River were on their way to the Far North to work on a separate project about the John Franklin Expedition.

“It just worked out perfectly that as they were coming in and they got to be there with us when this movie premiered,” Schumann said.

Tom Gross, a John Franklin search enthusiast in Hay River, is working with the film team to develop a documentary on the quest to find the famous 19th-century explorer, who perished after his expedition got lost in the Arctic.

Work on that project is expected to take place on June 1 on King William Island.

Ecology North used part of Earth Day to promote its education campaign of ‘No Butts in My Backyard,’ which tries to discourage the littering of cigarette butts.

“Anytime that we can spread awareness, especially with the younger generation like we did on Friday, and having all the young kids come out is great because we all have to do our part,” Schumann said.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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