In recognition of Earth Day during the month of April, the First Friday downtown is declaring a Green Day.

The Mill Race Farmer's Market will be at the center of many of the activities on Friday, beginning at 5 p.m.

The farmer's market will mark the starting and finishing point of a 5k run and 3k walk. The course will proceed south on the Mill Race trail and make a loop in Shanklin Park.

Registration for the race begins at 5 p.m. (the cost is $20), and the race begins at 6 p.m. Participants can save $5 if they register early online.

The farmer's market will also host an exposition of over ten local environmental organizations.

Among these groups are Earth Group, the Elkhart River Alliance, the Soil/Water Conservation/Storm Water Partnership and Chain Reaction.

Music will also be part of the festivities on Friday, with the farmer's market hosting Double Barrel Darrel from 5-7:30 p.m. and the Wooden Pegs from 7:30-9 p.m.

At 7 p.m., there will be a short discussion on community gardening. Discussion will focus on linking together the donors of seeds, time, expertise and land.

This issue seems especially important in a time with such a low unemployment rate. Paul Steury, Merry Lea education coordinator, said, "I'm very excited and hopeful about [the meeting]. Why not grow a large area with produce and give it away to those that need some good local food?"

New World Arts is also participating in Green Day in its own unique way. "Improv Battle Royale," will "recycle" games from the popular shows "Whose Line is it Anyway" and "Comedy Sports." There will be a family friendly show at 7 p.m. and an adult-oriented show at 9 p.m.

Choose between a variety of activities and bike, walk or run downtown to support First Friday's Green Day. For more information, visit