PEPPERELL -- A 30-minute documentary film, not to be missed, and a presentation by NRWA Monitoring Project Director, Kathryn Nelson, will be held on Jan. 9, at 6:45 p.m. at the Pepperell Senior Center. Rt. 111, Nashua Road. The public is welcomed: $5 or $2 for seniors.

The people of Pepperell and surrounding towns are very proud of the beauty of the Nashua River. Every day of the year many people can be seen strolling along the banks of the river. In the warm weather canoes paddle along side the pretty white swans and other wild life that lives in the river. Fishermen enjoy casting their lines in hopes of catching a bass or two. But this was not always the situation.

The Work of 1000 tells the inspiring story of Marion Stoddart, a citizen leader committed to a lifetime of grassroots organizing and coalition building. In the 1960s, the Nashua River was declared one of the 10 most polluted rivers in the United States. Years of industrial waste, local dumping, and neglect threatened to remove this river from our lives forever.

Around that time, housewife Marion Stoddart moved to the area with her family. They lived so close to the river they could smell its noxious fumes. She organized a massive citizen effort to rescue the river and lobbied successfully with Ted Kennedy for legislation, including the landmark Massachusetts Clean Waters Act. She petitioned the federal government for millions of dollars of promised funds to fight the pollution and won. Marion Stoddart's campaign to clean up the Nashua River shows us that determined individuals can make real and lasting change. Her success in mobilizing the community showed people that change was possible, even though many had lost hope. She is truly an environmental hero.

The Nashua River is now an internationally recognized environmental success story and a locally celebrated natural resource. The work that Marion began in the 1960s continues today through the Nashua River Watershed Association. This nonprofit, launched in 1969, is a regional leader in natural resource protection and environmental education.

The Work of 1000 Civic Engagement Program shares her compelling story, passion, and process via film and discussion to empower others to act. Marion made a difference. Learn the story of Marion Stoddart, a true environmental hero and grassroots leader who overcame opposition and obstacles to lead the campaign that cleaned up the Nashua River!

For more information: www.workof1000.org.

The film has garnered praise around the world, including Best Short Film at the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival in New Zealand; Best Documentary Short at the Rivers Edge Festival in Paducah, KY; AT&T Award for Environmental Conservation and Stewardship at the Arpa International Film Festival in Hollywood, CA; Projecting Change Award in Vancouver Canada; Speak Out Award at the 44th Annual Humbolt Film Festival, Arcata, CA; Best Call to Action Film at the Green Screen Environmental Film Festival, Venice, CA.

"Nothing happens nationally unless it starts locally; grassroots efforts are critical. Change is possible."

-- Marion Stoddart