Down to Earth 

Fed up with politicians' lack of environmental concern, the late Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day in 1969 in hopes of building a grassroots citizen movement to save the planet.

Here in Shelby County, citizens are keeping that cause alive in an attempt to "green Greater Memphis" by improving Shelby Farms Park and building bike and walking trails along the Wolf River and the city's abandoned railroad tracks.

Join in on the movement this Earth Day with two green events sponsored by the Shelby Farms Park Alliance. On Saturday, April 21st, at 6:30 p.m., don your emerald best and head to the Green Shoe Gala at Patriot Lake. They'll be auctioning off items such as jewelry, fishing trips, and even green shoes to raise money for park improvements.

But don't drink too much wine, because you'll want to wake up bright and early for Sunday's Hip To Be Green Day fest at the park. Various local organizations will be planting trees and shrubs, painting fences, and working to improve Shelby Farms.

Local profit and nonprofit groups will be handing out information on how ordinary citizens can help the Earth. There will also be crafts for kids, live music, and screenings of environmentally themed films.

Don't want to burn gas to get there? A bus will be shuttling folks back and forth from the Central Library all day.

Green Shoe Gala, Shelby Farms Park, Saturday, April 21st, 6:30 p.m., $250 per person.

Hip to Be Green Day, Shelby Farms Park, Sunday, April 22nd, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Free. For more information, call 767-PARK.

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