Got a Whippany River story? A documentary maker wants to meet you

Do you have family snapshots or home movies of the Whippany River?  Or stories of time spent at Speedwell Lake, or other tributaries of the river?

If so, a documentary-maker would like to hear from you.

speedwell lake

Morristown’s Speedwell Lake in all its winter glory, pictured in 2011. Photo by Bill Lescohier

Glenn Silber, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker who has produced news pieces for Barbara Walters, Scott Pelley, Steve Kroft, Connie Chung and Elizabeth Vargas, has been hired to produce a film about the 16-mile long river, a source of drinking water in northern New Jersey.

“The documentary will focus on the threats to and solutions for the Whippany River during the past 50 years,”  Art Vespignani, facilitator for the Morristown-based Whippany River Watershed Action Committee, said in a statement.

QUIT YOUR CARPING! Well, maybe not yet. A good net was all that was needed for fishing at Speedwell Lake, which was lowered this weekend ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Berit Ollestad

QUIT YOUR CARPING! Well, maybe not yet. A good net was all that was needed for fishing at Speedwell Lake, which was lowered  ahead of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Photo by Berit Ollestad

The committee has secured a $45,000 grant for the project from The Bayer USA Foundation. Bayer Healthcare’s US Headquarters in Hanover Township is on the banks of the Whippany River.

Filming will run from now through September.

“It’s an honor to be involved with this project,” Glenn Silber said in the statement.

“Over the next few months I will be filming and interviewing residents, students, business and civic leaders, to focus on the community’s efforts to restore and protect the Whippany River.”

If you have stories or materials to share, call 973-428-6729 or send an e-mail.

THE FULL STATEMENT FROM THE RIVER COMMITTEE:

WHIPPANY RIVER WATERSHED ACTION COMMITTEE NAMES Oscar- Nominated FILMMAKER TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTARY ON WHIPPANY RIVER

        Morristown, NJ—The Whippany River Watershed Action Committee (WRWAC) has selected two-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker Glenn Silber to produce and direct a documentary on the reclamation of the Whippany River. The 16-mile long Whippany River serves as a critical source of drinking water for millions of people in North Jersey.

        The documentary is funded by a $45,000 grant from The Bayer USA Foundation. Bayer Healthcare’s US Headquarters is located in Hanover Township and straddles the Whippany River.  The WRWAC is partnering with Hanover Township, whose officials spearheaded a major clean-up of the river back in the 80’s. Filming will begin immediately and wrap-up in September.

        Glenn Silber has been a staff producer for nearly 20 years with ABC News and CBS News and has worked with Barbara Walters, Scott Pelley, Steve Kroft, Connie Chung and Elizabeth Vargas.

        “It’s an honor to be involved with this project.” says Glenn Silber.  “Over

The Whippany River rushes over Martin Luther King Avenue in Morristown after Tropical Storm Irene. Photo by Berit Ollestad.

The Whippany River rushes over Martin Luther King Avenue in Morristown after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Photo by Berit Ollestad.

the next few months I will be filming and interviewing residents, students, business and civic leaders, to focus on the community’s efforts to restore and protect the Whippany River.”

        The documentary will be crafted to engage students, civic groups, municipalities and anyone interested in learning about the compelling environmental history and the urgency of sustaining the Whippany River. It will showcase clean-up and protection efforts to preserve and save this precious natural resource for generations to come.

 “The WRWAC’s mission is to preserve, protect and maintain the land and water of the Whippany River Watershed,” states WRWAC Facilitator Art Vespignani. “The documentary will focus on the threats to and solutions for the Whippany River during the past 50 years.”

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

The WRWAC would encourage and welcome community members and individuals who have stories, special memories and historical data to contact us. Information of interest would include family photos and home movies depicting life on the Whippany River including images of family outings to Sunrise Lake, Speedwell Lake, Riverside Park, such as fishing, boating, canoeing or other recreational activities.

“It is impossible to film this documentary without the participation of community members who are closest to the river and whose lives have been affected both when it was polluted in the 60’s and 70’s and since the restoration process began,” proclaims Filmmaker Glenn Silber.

The Whippany River Watershed Action Committee is a non-profit, grassroots organization based in Morris County, comprised of members representing thirteen municipal governments, the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and other stakeholders.

If you have any family photos, home movies or stories you would like to share, please contact the WRWAC at 973-428-6729 or e-mail maokeefe44@optonline.net



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