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FedEx Volunteers Help Beautify Shelby Farms Park in Memphis

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By Rachel Kesselman (EarthSmart Memphis Outreach Co-Chair 2012) & Chris Williams (EarthSmart Participant 2012)

After dodging a date with a bulldozer, several sweet magnolia trees have a home at Memphis’ Shelby Farms Park with the help of FedEx team members.

Planting the trees – plucked from an abandoned Mississippi nursery before its scheduled demolition – was just one of the ways Memphis-area FedEx team members helped beautify Shelby Farms Park during an April 16 FedEx EarthSmart Outreach event.

The project kicked off Earth Week festivities at the park and was funded through a grant program sponsored by FedEx and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). About 75 FedEx team members spent three hours working with Shelby Farms Park Conservancy rangers and staff to plant trees, place saplings in containers for future planting and remove non-native vegetation.

Shelby FarmsBefore getting their hands dirty, the volunteers attended a tree-planting ceremony and heard remarks from Laura Adams, executive director of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, and Mitch Jackson, vice president of sustainability at FedEx. Both shared their thoughts on the future of the 4,500-acre urban park and the importance of sustainability within both organizations. Dennis Beal, FedEx Express vice president of global vehicles, followed with an overview and demonstration of a FedEx Express electric vehicle.

Charlie Lockhart, marketing specialist advisor at FedEx Sevices, enjoyed the opportunity to invest his time and effort. “I’m proud we were able to place some of those trees where they can spread their roots and be part of Shelby Farms Park’s bright future,” Lockhart said.

The event culminated with FedEx team members and Shelby Farm Conservancy rangers and staff enjoying a meal from Central BBQ. The restaurant is certified by Project Green Fork, which focuses on reducing environmental impact of Mid-South restaurants.

Additional video coverage can be viewed from WREG Channel 3.

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