"Reviving The Backyard " is a 15 - minute film following Grant Horton and Michael Stevens as they journey from their childhood backyards in Potomac, Maryland down the Potomac River to the Chesapeake Bay via packraft and return via bicycle. the 250-mile human powered journey is aimed at inspiring the residents of Washington, D.C. (and beyond) to get out into their "backyards" and experience what lives just beyond the fence. the hope is that they will find something that is worth protecting.


Michael Stevens

Michael is an adventure  filmmaker and photographer based in Carbondale, CO.

Grant Horton

Grant is a graduate student at UCLA Law, studying wastewater management and environmental law.


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The two met sometime in 1995, though reports have varied. From one source close to the two, the first encounter came when Grant exposed himself to michael, and other neighborhood children, to prove that he was, in fact, not a girl. While that is no longer a concern to either of the two, they have quite the time reflecting upon such memories and spend countless hours arguing over the validity of said minutiae.
 Through their deep, and wild connection, we believe the audience will instantly feel connected to the two, and will derive much from the pair’s connection to the land they grew up in. 



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Reviving the Backyard: The Nation’s River

A Self-Supported Journey down the Potomac River

An expedition aimed to create momentum for an environmental concept that will call Michael CB Stevens back to his Maryland roots.

WASHINGTON, DC (30 April 2018) Michael CB Stevens, a 25-year-old from Cabin John, Maryland and a Carbondale, Colorado-based filmmaker departs on a journey to protect the public lands that he calls his backyard.

As a filmmaker, Stevens has had projects featured in Banff Mountain Film Festival and 5Point Adventure Film Festival. He is rapidly making a name for himself in the film industry, collaborating with the likes of Michael Brown, Tyler Stableford, Jim Harris and Anson Fogel. Stevens’ upcoming project is not only slated to surpass his previous work, but this project brings him back to his roots - where his passion for conservation and adventure first began.

Michael and his childhood friend Grant Horton, a UCLA Law Student, will embark on a 250-mile self-supported bikepacking and packrafting trip on the Potomac River to the Chesapeake Bay, and back. Their journey is inspired by the recent recovery of the Potomac River, a river that grew their love for the outdoors. They hope to bring attention to the beauty of this ecosystem that is largely ignored by its inhabitants. On their expedition, they will explore the river’s history dating back to the founding of the country and the people that once inhabited the land. Their ultimate goal is to instill a sense of care and belonging to the surrounding populations, in the hopes that they find worth in their backyards.

Michael and Grant’s journey will literally begin in their childhood backyards. They will embark on a bicycle to the Potomac and then paddle, with their bikes on board, 135 miles down the river, then pedal 115 miles back to their childhood homes. The culmination of this project will be a 15-minute film focused on inspiring people to reimagine their backyards, to seek connection with their ecosystems, and define new ways of being outside. This will also be the beginning of a film series in which Stevens will focus on the issues plaguing various urban/wilderness boundaries, working to help residents to define a sense of place.

“The federal government of the United States is in the midst of deciding the fate of our public lands. As storytellers, conservationists, gear outfitters and progenitors of cultural attitudes towards the dirt beyond our pavement, it is imperative that we stand up and lead the Resistance to the current administration’s fight again our public lands,” says Michael CB Stevens. “As a filmmaker, I find it necessary to tell this story, but this story needs your support. Without the collaborative effort of our parties, we will be unable to match the rhetoric of those who pollute, exploit, and tarnish our public lands. This is a story worth telling, This is a cause worth fighting for.”

Stevens wishes to redefine the term “backyard,” seeing it as a clear pathway to connect people back to their surrounding environments. Not everyone has access to a backyard, at least not in the way backyards are typically defined. However, through this project, the hope is that people will begin to identify public lands, such as the Potomac River corridor as their backyards - caring for it as their own while sharing it with those cut off from nature. Championing public lands and investing them with the respect and care that they deserve will increase the health of the natural environment while enhancing the surrounding human experience as well. This project’s proximity to the nation’s capital makes it a fitting place for a call to action. By challenging the status quo of the most powerful city in the country, perhaps we can create a ripple effect in the battle for public lands nationwide.

For more information on “Reviving the Backyard,” Michael CB Stevens,,

(240) 672-7162.

About Michael CB Stevens Michael CB Stevens is a director and photographer on the hunt for texture. He enjoys being lost in unfamiliar places, isolated in his surroundings. Intrigued by the vastness of the space of the unfamiliar, he is motivated to create through exploration. Based out of Carbondale, Colorado, immersed in this incredible environment, he captures, crafts, and creates stories that move. For Stevens’ work, visit