Centerpiece story for The Memphis Daily News
April 22, 2013
FedEx employees volunteer for Wolf River cleanup
On a beautiful spring morning last week more than 100 local FedEx employees came together along the banks of the Wolf River to do a beautiful thing.
It was the 40th anniversary of FedEx, whose employees volunteered with the Wolf River Conservancy to pull up invasive privet, plant wildflowers and trees, paint sewer vents and build nesting boxes for indigenous birds.
Stewart Austin, board president of the Wolf River Conservancy, called the river an asset, and “the backbone of our community.”
It begins in Benton County, Miss., and then wends its way through Fayette County and among neighborhoods of East Shelby County to the Mississippi River. The Conservancy is in dogged pursuit of a paved greenway, a 22-mile park that will make the river more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.
Paul Young, administrator of the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability who was on hand for the cleanup, spoke about a “quality of life incentive” needed to attract and keep larger companies in the area.
“Building up these assets is going to help Memphis and Shelby County, and the region, in the long term,” Young said.
If the Wolf River is an environmental backbone, then FedEx is an economic backbone of the community. Begun on April 17, 1973, with just 186 packages and 25 cities, the carrier now handles 9 million packages per day and employs 30,000 in the Memphis area … (read more)