Florida Marlins players, coaches, executives, Mermaids, Manatees and Billy the Marlin have been making stops throughout South Florida this week, as they do every year at this time in advance of the start of spring training.
But rather than just stopping at malls, sporting events, and schools, the team decided to go earth-friendly this year. In keeping with their effort to ensure the under-construction ballpark meets strict environmental guidelines, team officials designed a whole week of activities that recognize the earth's resources. (See Gaby Sanchez learning about zoo-keeping from Ron Magill at MIami Metrozoo on Monday).
"We’re always trying to not do the same thing, trying to be innovative, thinking about what this community needs, thinking about things that are important to us when we move into the new ballpark, thinking about the earth’s resources," Marlins President David Samson said of the idea for a "green" caravan.
On Tuesday, they toured Waste Management in Pembroke Pines and a made a donation to Food for the Poor for Haiti relief. On Wednesday morning, they conducted a "green makeover" on a house in Little Havana, making it more energy efficient and re-sodding and adding drought-resistant plants to the garden.
Later, they served lunch to the construction workers at the ballpark site.
Other activities include Marlins players joining morning commuters on Friday for a ride on the Metrorail to stress the importance of public transportation. Later that morning, they'll be working to renovate Juan Pablo Duarte Park in Miami, refurbishing the baseball field, planting trees, and building recycling bins.
The team is also off-setting the carbon emissions from the entire week of activities by buying trees and planting them across South Florida.
The activities culminate at the team's 15th annual Jiffy Lube Marlins FanFest from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. The day includes the opportunity to purchase single game tickets for the 2010 season, autograph sessions with players, live music, memorabilia and town hall meetings with players, coaches and executives. Parking costs $5, which can be applied to the purchase of game tickets, and proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross' Haitian Relief Fund. However, vehicles carrying four or more fans receive free parking.