Nielsen's will donate 20 percent of St. Patrick's Day store sales to Darien Land Trust Festivities will continue through evening with fun-filled party -- traditional Irish fare, music, shamrocks and prizes for lucky attendees. General Manager Sandy Nielsen and her family, owners of Nielsen's Florist and Garden Center, will host a day-long St. Patrick's Day celebration culminating with a party Thursday, March 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the shop located at 1405 Post Road in Darien.

"With a rich Irish heritage, a commitment to the community and a family business deeply rooted in the beauty and appreciation of all things green, it is only natural to host a St. Patrick's Day party to support the Darien Land Trust," Nielsen said.

She also said the day is the perfect opportunity to showcase our Conservatory, which serves as both a beautiful greenhouse and event space.

"As an unexpected venue for a traditional St. Patrick's Day party, we will show how easily our conservatory can be transformed into the perfect party space," she said. "Guests will enjoy savory and sweet Irish pub food, as well as a little libation of Irish beers. Pop and classic Irish music might entice one to try a little Irish jig."

Guests will have the opportunity to meet Shirley Nichols, executive director of the Darien Land Trust. She will highlight the accomplishments of the organization this past year and describe many of the projects that are currently underway. In addition, the Darien High School Eco-Citizens Club will showcase their projects. Recently, the club has partnered with the DLT to make lasting contributions to the Darien community. Collaborating with the DLT, the club already monitors the Noroton River for a fish ladder project, and members soon will begin planting bushes and trees in a habitat restoration project in the DLT's Olson Woods, which boasts trails open to the public.

Event tickets are $10 and available at the door. Nielsen's will donate 20 percent of St. Patrick's Day sales and the full ticket price to the DLT.

It wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without prizes for the lucky few. The DLT will raffle a beautiful original landscape painting by local artist Betty Ball. Nielsen's will donate a "Year of Green" -- the winner's choice of any $50 plant each month of the year from the shop's famous greenhouse. Eye-catching door prizes from Nielsen's premium vendors also will be awarded. Clearly, Nielsen's is the community's "Green Scene" for St. Patrick's Day and every day.

"After a long winter, a St. Patrick's Day party that emphasizes all things green is the perfect way to turn our thoughts to nature and the outdoors," Nichols said. "The Darien Land Trust invites you, this spring, to join us in becoming a positive force for nature."

More Information

Fact box

Nielsen's is a third-generation family-run business established in 1944 by Hilda and Christian Nielsen. The store, still in its original location, is now run by their granddaughter, Sandra Nielsen Baumann. The Nielsen family's long-term philosophy has always been to maintain successful relationships with every customer and supplier. Nielsen's strives to provide the highest quality floral, garden and home decor products and services. In addition, giving back to the community has always been integral to Nielsen's. www.nielsensflorist.com

The Darien Land Trust, whose mission is to preserve and protect open space in Darien, was founded in 1960.. Preservation of open space benefits the community by adding to quality-of-life values for town residents, and conserving precious natural habitats and the rural character of Darien for future generations. www.darienlandtrust.org

Students Catherine Becker, Rachel McGlade and Emma Tuz started the Eco-citizens Club in the fall of 2009 with the help of science teacher Elissa Scudder. The club's mission is to promote sustainability locally and globally and to inspire the eco-friendly community to make big changes to foster a more environmentally friendly campus. The founders have been named Top Ten Influential Ladies at DHS 2011 by Neirad Enilno.