WILMINGTON — Though the two concerts featuring Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real are sold out at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater this Friday and Saturday nights, locals still have a chance to catch a live taste of the group’s famed blues-folk sound. Nelson is scheduled Saturday to perform a few songs for the public for free.
Staged in the Greenfield Lake Rotary Garden outside of the amphitheater, Nelson will make an appearance some time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. His return happens amidst Earth Day events hosted by a group of community organizations: Plastic Ocean Project, Coastal Plain Conservation Group, Penguin 98.3 (full disclosure: Port City Daily’s sister media company), Wilmington Farmers Market, and Live Nation.
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A cleanup to benefit Plastic Ocean Project’s Trees4Trash initiative takes place from 10 a.m. to noon. Trees4Trash started in 2019, with the goal to replace the canopy destroyed by storms and hurricanes across the state.
“Trees aid in slowing down the progression of storms inland and reducing the number of buildings destroyed,” POP notes on its website, and “uptake CO2, among our greatest defense against climate change.”
For every 25 pounds of trash collected, POP will plant one tree. To date, the organization has sowed 2,000 trees and collected 24 tons of trash. It aims to remove large amounts of debris from desolate areas to prevent it from being washed away or blown into the watershed or ocean.
The group hosts monthly cleanups, from Halyburton Park to Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, UNCW to Snow’s Cut, downtown to The Cargo District. During April they have eight cleanups planned.
“We usually pick up anywhere from 75 to 300 pounds of trash at Greenfield Lake,” POP executive director Bonnie Monteleone said.
The group just hosted a cleanup at the beginning of the month, which brought in 345.82 pounds, she said — the one before that, in January, garnered 138 pounds.
All trash is brought to a weight station to record and is then separated from recyclables before properly disposed of.
POP was able to plant six long leaf pine trees at Greenfield Lake after the last cleanup events, Monteleone added. The group has done plantings in collaboration with the City of Wilmington, the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, and the Town of Oak Island. Though most of the 2,000 trees they’ve sown went to the New Hanover Landfill.
“They can help clean the air, provide habitat for animals and birds, and are planted on non toxic, uncapped landfill debris from Hurricane Fran — hence we call it Fran’s Forest!” Monteleone said.
POP aims to collect 15,000 pounds of trash by the end of 2022 to plant 600 more trees.
At every cleanup, the organization provides gloves, grabbers, safety vests, and bags donated by Ocean Conservancy. Saturday’s equipment will be properly sanitized and the nonprofit asks participants to practice social distancing per Covid-19, as well as wear boots and waders.
After the cleanup, the Wilmington Farmers Market will be set up from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. featuring local vendors at 1960 Amphitheater Dr.
Lukas Nelson did a meet-and-greet during his last visit to Wilmington for 2019’s Hurricane Florence benefit concert. Walking in the footsteps of his father, Willie — who founded Farm Aid in the early ‘80s with Neil Young and John Mellencamp — Nelson signed autographs and posed for photo-ops with farmers and concert-goers alike.
The show raised over $60,000 for charities involved with Florence relief efforts. Mayor Saffo also gave Nelson a key to the city that night onstage.
Saturday’s event is open to the public. Participants joining the cleanup should register here.
A pair of tickets to the sold-out Saturday show of Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real will also be raffled off, with proceeds benefiting POP. The band is touring in support of the 11-track release of “A Few Stars Apart” — recorded on an eight-track tape over three weeks at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A. The album dropped last summer.
Photos from the 2019 farmers market and performance, courtesy 98.3 Penguin:
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