“Shifting Sands” is Next in SCA’s Real to Reel Series

To mark Earth Day, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts is partnering with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center to screen the acclaimed documentary, “Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability”. The screening is on Thursday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Conversation with the film’s producers Patricia Wisniewski and Tom Desch will follow the screening.  Thanks to sponsorship by the History Center, tickets are free of charge for the screening and talk-back.  Additional information can be found at or by calling 269.857.2399.

“Shifting Sands” tells the story of how a globally rare environment collided with the industrial giants that built our nation. This collision, over a century-old, gave rise to some of the most influential environmental conflicts of the 20th century, and became a microcosm for one of the most pressing issues of our time: sustainability.  How do we maintain our way of life without destroying the natural world on which we all depend?

The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Shifting Sands is filled with faith and hope.” And Paul Labovitz of the National Park Service says it’s a, “brick to the head” film of the amazing changes that have transformed the environment and improved our quality of life. Bravo!”

“The History Center is excited to present Shifting Sands to the Saugatuck-Douglas community in partnership with the Saugatuck Center for the Arts,” said Nathan Nietering, executive director of the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center. “This film help explains how industrialists and environmentalists, one-time adversaries, forged partnerships which continue to this day to protect and promote the Indiana Dunes environment.  Our actions today can have a lasting impact on tomorrow, just as decisions made in years past have shaped the communities we inhabit today.  We look forward to the learning, outreach, and conversations this film screening will inspire.”

The film highlights the collaborative effort to clean up and restore the dunes’ rich ecological region. The clash over the Indiana Dunes – considered to be the birthplace of ecological science in North America – would lead to the creation of public policy with a worldwide impact, and it would give the United States one of its first urban National Parks.

Whitney Valentine, SCA Education & Exhibit Coordinator, notes that the History Center and SCA are also making programming available, cost free, for students.  “We want to educate our young people on their local landscape and encourage them to get outdoors, appreciate their natural surroundings, and take care of the planet.”

Saugatuck Middle School 6th – 8th graders will have the opportunity to hear from the Shifting Sands producers Wisniewski and Desch, see snippets of the film, and participate in a hands-on activity in response to the presentation. After school on April 20, 6th – 12th-grade students are invited to go on a docent-led cleanup hike through the dunes.

Shifting Sands programming underwritten by the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center. The Real to Reel Series is sponsored by Beau Gratzer & Andy Knight.