Generous benefactor will match donations to Shelby Farms

(WMC-TV) – If you are looking for a unique Father's Day gift, Shelby Farms is offering a green gift that not only helps the environment, but helps the country's biggest urban park at the same time.

Until June 30, an anonymous donor offered to match all donations to the park up to $150,000.

The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, a non-profit group, has managed the urban park since 2008. It raises about $2 million of its $2.6 million operating budget each year.

With a staff of only 20 employees, daily operating costs of the 4,500 acre park are incredibly steep.

"Yeah, we added it up. It's $7,123 a day and that's just keeping it clean, green, and safe," said Jen Andrews, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy.

Andrews said that price still does not include the cost of educational programming like summer camp, or all of the free activities offered at Shelby Farms.

The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy encourages anyone who visits or enjoys the park to give back by becoming a member, adopting a buffalo, or with Father's Day just around the corner, you can purchase a tree for your dad. The staff at Shelby Farms will plant it and e-mail you a certificate.

On top of doing something great for the environment, your donation will be matched by a generous benefactor.

"If a donor wants to give $10, then that gift becomes $20, if a donor wants to give $1,000 it becomes $2,000. This has got the potential to be, you know, a really, really impactful opportunity for us, so we're encouraging everybody to please give," said Andrews.

For more information about Shelby Farms and donating, click here.

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