A Morning Field Trip to the Arts District to Usher In Trammel S. Crow's Earth Day Dallas

The two-day Earth Day Dallas celebration kicked off in the Arts District at 10 this morning, and right from the start it was absolutely packed -- thanks to the Trammell S. Crow-sponsored event planners, who footed the bill to bring in 200 busloads of kids from all over the Dallas Independent School District.

A little before noon this morning, while workers finished assembling that giant map of the Trinity River Corridor Project, the Trinity Trust's Melanie Ferguson was busy handing out Frisbees and teaching kids about the river -- the Audubon Center, the planned horse park, the bridges and, for some kids, the fact there's a river there at all. Ferguson said teaching kids about all the natural features around Dallas is the first step to keeping them preserved, Ferguson said. "The more we pay attention to them, the more they come to life," she said. "A lot of people don't know we have the largest uncut hardwood forest in the U.S."

The giant map of the Trinity's going to be 20 feet long and four feet wide when it's finished, and ought to be a major highlight in the blocks of booths set up in the Arts District.

Most of the booths are for nature, conservation and recycling groups -- and environmentalist newsmakers like Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling and Downwinders at Risk. A few home-builders, Pepsi and the Dallas Safari Club also have booths set up to tout their green credentials. Green Mountain Energy's even got a "Wind Face" booth, where you can get your picture taken with your cheeks flapping back against a jet of air.

Next to a bench made from an old shipping pallet, made for next week's Living Plaza in front of Dallas City Hall, bcWorkshop's got another of their recycled shipping containers, wood-paneled inside with a series of displays about their Earth-friendly home-building projects in the city.

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