Saving the Best: North Carolina State Parks at 100, a documentary celebrating the parks system’s 2016 centennial, will be the centerpiece of premiere viewing parties at 22 state parks on January 27, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. The hour-long show will also air at 8 p.m. that evening on UNC-TV.
The production by Tom Earnhardt is a tribute to the men and women who work in the parks, volunteers who give their time and energy and the 17 million visitors who visit state parks each year. The project was supported by the State Employees’ Credit Union and Friends of State Parks.
Earnhardt, a longtime contributor to UNC-TV on nature and outdoor topics, teamed with videographers and co-producers Mark Crews and Tucker Hayes. Mixing stunning footage and aerial views of park landscapes with interviews and a soundtrack from the Southern String Band, the team created a montage of 41 state parks and the people working as stewards of those landscapes.
“This film is a terrific story about North Carolina; it’s about who we are and where we came from. It’s also about the people who make our parks run, probably the most dedicated people as servants in our parks system, an extraordinary group of stewards,” Earnhardt said. “The goal of this program is to excite the people of North Carolina about the parks system and to educate them about the great efforts of those who work in the parks.”
“The premiere parties will be an opportunity for park staff, families, friends, supporters and the public to come together and celebrate as the 2016 centennial begins, and to talk about centennial events planned for each park,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director.
Times for the showings at state parks will vary from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and details are to be found here. The parks participating are: Haw River, Hammocks Beach, Lake Norman, Raven Rock, New River, Gorges, Medoc Mountain, Chimney Rock, Fort Macon, Hanging Rock, Weymouth Woods, Jones, Pettigrew, Cliffs of the Neuse, Goose Creek, Carolina Beach, Crowders Mountain, Lake Waccamaw, Umstead, Jordan Lake, Kerr Lake and South Mountains.