FedEx supports trees
FedEx and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are supporting Living Lands and Waters’ Million Trees initiative to reforest shores of Midwestern waterways, towns and cities.
FedEx and other volunteers are scheduled to work with Living Lands and Shelby Farms on April 26 and 27 to prepare trees for distribution and replanting.
FedEx contributed $25,000 to the Memphis project, and the foundation provided a matching grant of $37,788. It’s one of six jointly funded projects nationally.
From the Daily News
by Eric Smith
The annual Earth Day turns 40 on April 22, so the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy wanted to have a “birthday blowout” for the event created in 1970 to raise environmental awareness and promote eco-friendly practices.
And since honoring the planet for one day didn’t seem worthy enough for such a milestone, conservancy staff decided to expand and extend its yearly celebration of all things green by renaming it Earth Week.
At the heart of the conservancy’s planned Earth Week is Earth Day.
The grassroots initiative founded by a Wisconsin senator has spread globally and grown more popular in the past four decades as individuals, businesses and governments look for ways to live, work and act sustainably.
Conservancy communications director Jen Andrews said it was only fitting to throw an appropriately planned multiday party that encourages Memphians to think and act green – globally and locally.
And perhaps it will be a reminder that every day is Earth Day.
“This year we decided we’re going to have a whole week and really brand Earth Week in Memphis as a time when we’re all celebrating environmental stewardship, the environment, nature and, of course, our great park,” Andrews said.
Beginning with the GreenShoe Gala on Friday and concluding with the Down to Earth festival on April 25, the environmental extravaganza features nine days of sanctioned events throughout the area from neighborhood cleanups to film festivals, from trail runs to kayak polo.
On Sunday the conservancy will host the newly formed Grow the Park Café to promote the park’s soon-to-be-launched One Million Trees Web site.
That site goes live Sunday and also can be accessed from www.shelbyfarmspark.org. It will have interactive maps for users to see how the park will evolve in the coming years, specifically a million new trees.
Other events include the GreenTeen Gala for teenagers and SkyFest for kite fliers. The full list of park events and other happenings around town can be found at the park’s Web site.
But Earth Week isn’t just for people who like to commune with nature by walking through the park, canoeing in Patriot Lake or taking their pooches to the dog park.
The event has become a way for local businesses to display environmental stewardship and corporate giving by sponsoring events or sending volunteers to the park to plant trees or pick up trash.
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp., for example, is sponsoring Earth Week’s flagship event, the Down to Earth Festival.
Zach Chandler, administrator and chief executive officer for Baptist, said being a part of the event complements the health care company’s mission. And being next door to the park made the partnership a natural fit.
“I can’t imagine a better neighbor than Shelby Farms,” Chandler said. “What a great thing for our whole community, from healthy lifestyles to family activities. We’re happy to support this.”
Other corporate sponsors comprise a who’s who of Memphis businesses.
Pinnacle Airlines Corp. is sponsoring SkyFest; FedEx is sponsoring Grow the Park Café; Hyde Family Foundations is sponsoring the GreenTeen Gala; Whole Foods is sponsoring the GreenShoe Gala; and Breakaway Athletics is sponsoring a trail fun run at 4 p.m. before the Down to Earth Festival closes at 5 p.m. April 25.
More than anything, the Earth Week events – most notably the Down to Earth Festival, which draws thousands of visitors – give Shelby Farms Park a chance to showcase all the changes under way with its multiyear, multimillion-dollar master plan.
The conservancy recently broke ground a number of improvements that are part of its 20-year master plan created and administered by New York-based Field Operations.
This year will see a new playground, the first of the million trees to be planted, a bridge over the Wolf River (connecting Shelby Farms trails to the Germantown Greenway) and the first phase of the Shelby Farms Greenline.
Another enhancement coming soon is the expansion of Patriot Lake to 110 acres, or twice its current size.
Andrews said the conservancy will have a booth set up at the festival for attendees to learn how they can use the park according to their interests and also how they become a member.
Lauren Taylor, program officer for greening initiatives with Hyde Family Foundations, said Shelby Farms Park should be a high priority for the community because it means many things to many people.
“Regardless of how people choose to enjoy it, it’s a catalyst for improved public health, recreational opportunities, environmental stewardship, economic development, talent retention, community-building and many other benefits to the health and vitality of Memphis and Shelby County,” she said. “And it is a nexus for many other greening projects, connecting them both physically and through events like Earth Week. Its success means success for other initiatives.”