Moved by waters

News | March 7, 2024

Emmy award-winning documentarians bring new environmental documentary to St. Paul in March.

“What unites us is far more important than what divides us.” These opening lines of the new Fourth Wall Films documentary, Moved by Water, encapsulate the collaborative work of local organizations in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas to ensure safe and quality water.

Though husband and wife filmmaking team Tammy and Kelly Rundle of Fourth Wall Films typically produce historical documentaries, they’ve recently been inspired to move into environmental subjects that are important to them.

“Moved by Waters was a year-long project that inspired us and motivated us to make changes in our own lives to help improve the water quality of the Upper Mississippi Watershed,” Tammy said. “We didn’t know much about this topic and we’re still learning. The important part of this project was finding people and organizations who were setting aside differences to work together for a common good. This film features a diverse set of individuals with different backgrounds and talents that all share the same passion: clean water.”

The Rundles worked with several Quad Cities organizations including Partners of Scott County Watersheds, River Action, Augustana College, local farmers, and the QCCA Wetlands.
Familiar St. Paul faces appear in the film including Mike Paustian of Paustian Farms (featured in the Nov. 2023 Journey) and Dick Riddell.

Dick currently serves as the Executive Director of the QCCA Wetlands. In 2013, a 58-acre wetland property was donated to the Quad City Conservation Alliance for restoration and preservation. Throughout those 11 years, numerous projects have been undertaken to fulfill this restoration.

“We’re blessed with the most beautiful water out here you’ve ever seen. We have 500 diverse species of animals in the wetlands,” Dick said. “This is a no-politics zone. Everyone is here for a purpose they love. Our important goals are to protect and restore the wetlands, remove invasive species, and educate.”

Wetlands, like the QCCA Wetlands, are areas of land where water nearly or fully covers the soil all year.

Augustana College is where Tammy and Kelly first started their research. Students, led by Dr. Michael Reisner, director of the Upper Mississippi Studies Center and associate professor of Environmental Studies, are a large part of a community-based resource project in partnership with the City of Davenport and Partners of Scott County Watershed. The students have collected a large sampling of data through analysis of wildlife camera footage and water samples to share with their project partners. Students then produce a final report that guides their community partners’ restoration and conservation efforts of the watersheds.

Three years ago, Kelly and Tammy created a local non-profit, Truth First Film Alliance, to promote, support, and encourage the production and exhibition of documentary films, and narrative films based on true stories, through public presentations and educational programs in the Quad Cities region. Moved by Waters is one of the many projects supported by this non-profit work.

One comment on “Moved by waters”

  • Irene Hanssen

    March 13, 2024 at 9:01 am

    A much needed educational presentation. We all need to be reminded of the importance of the river and how each of us can protect it.

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