A First for Shelby Farms 

Friends of park promote health while raising money.

Members of Friends of Shelby Farms Park (FOSFP) have been working lately to increase attendance at Shelby Farms in the hopes that outdoor recreation will promote a healthier Memphis. They've also been trying to raise money for needed park improvements. On Saturday, October 23rd, they'll be combining those efforts by hosting "You Gotta Have Park," a festival fund-raiser.

"We're modeling this festival after similar festivals all over the country," said FOSFP president Laura Adams. "It's very common for communities to help raise money for parks through these types of fund-raising events. It's never been done before here."

Festival activities include a kid's fishing rodeo, a canoe and kayak race on the Wolf River, a bike race, horse and retriever demonstrations, an artist's market, and live music. They'll also have a healthy families tent where families will receive pedometers and then hike through an interactive trail. At various points along the trail, hikers can participate in activities that promote nutritional education.

Adams says they're expecting 5,000 people and are hoping to raise $50,000. Part of the funds will support a permanent healthy families program at Shelby Farms. Other upgrades they're considering are better playground equipment and improved bathrooms.

E-mail: bphillips@memphisflyer.com

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