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A true community event, the festival allows us to explore the preserve in a unique manner. Each year, we strive to show inspiring environmental films, offer a venue for community to gather, raise funds for Schiff, and promote learning and discussion of important environmental issues.
The night of the festival, the Wood Badge Lodge is transformed into a wonderful Woodland Theatre. With the fire pit ablaze and folks gathering and socializing on the picnic benches and seating strewn around the fire, we enjoy catching up with our EFF guests and Schiff members as we wait for dusk to arrive. Schiff provides the hayride, the alfresco movie experience, a primitive latrine, popcorn, and water. You may hike up or take the hayride, but be sure to bring a picnic dinner, beverages, and a friend or two! Savory and sweet snack boxes will be available for sale. For those with ambulatory limitations, please be advised of the rocky and uneven terrain adjacent to the Wood Badge Lodge. All proceeds of the evening support the mission of Schiff Natural Lands Trust.
This year’s feature film, Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport is a one-hour documentary about the events, people, and politics behind the struggle to preserve a rural area of New Jersey between 1959 and 1968. When the powerful Port of New York Authority announced plans to construct a huge 10,000 acre “jetport” 26 miles west of New York City in a little-known place called the Great Swamp, the fight began. In the name of progress, entire towns could have been obliterated, the aquifer and wildlife destroyed, and a way-of-life threatened for thousands of people.
The events that followed became one of the most defining environmental confrontations of its time – a grassroots movement that started in a local high school and grew to historic proportions. It was a battle that took almost a decade, a President, and an Act of Congress to stop, and ultimately led to the creation of a national treasure – the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Two years in the making, Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport was produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Scott Morris, co-produced by Larry Fast and narrated by Blythe Danner. The film features in-depth interviews with residents, historians and officials, and a rich visual tapestry of historic film footage, old photographs, and high-end cinematography of the Great Swamp today. The inspiring story continues to resonate as a model for community action in the face of powerful forces.
Lovers of environmental documentary movies who also enjoy a good hike to a magical outdoor venue within the preserve, please consider joining Schiff. We are offering a NEW Schiff membership/EFF ticket bundle price for those who might like to support Schiff Nature Preserve and attend the EFF. Member fee is $18. Non- member fee is $20. Senior/Student fee is $12. EFF/Membership ticket bundle price is $60.