PHOENIX – (November 11, 2022) NFL Green, the National Football League’s Environmental Program, teamed up with community volunteers, Keep Phoenix Beautiful and the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department to plant trees and pollinator attracting plants at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area on Saturday, November 12, 2022. The community greening project, located at 2439 South Central Avenue, Phoenix, is one of nearly a dozen being implemented throughout Arizona for Super Bowl LVII. It builds on Mayor Kate Gallego’s initiative to increase habitat for Monarch butterflies.
The event kicked off with greetings from Mayor Gallego and representatives from the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon, and Footprint. Volunteers worked with the City of Phoenix Parks department to plant low water usage desert trees and 100 nectar-based plants, favorites of Monarch butterflies.
The project focuses on the Central Avenue Trailhead, an area enjoyed by many thousands of walkers, runners and hikers who utilize the recreation area. Project partners include NFL Green, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon, APS and Footprint. The group teamed up to leave a positive green legacy in the Super Bowl host community. American Forests and the Phoenix Heat and Mitigation Department are assisting with the effort at Rio Salado.
As part of a special initiative around Veteran’s Day, NFL Green also teamed up with Special Operations Military Veterans from FORCE BLUE to educate and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders. In partnership with NAUI Worldwide, PepsiCo and the NFL Players Association, FORCE BLUE conducted an Ocean Conservation School (OCS) at OdySea aquarium for select children from Gold Star families. The children received an introduction to SCUBA training, went through physical training (PT) with Special Operations veterans and were introduced to FORCE BLUE’s culture of continuing service – all while learning why the fight to preserve and restore the world’s oceans and marine habitats is so important. The goal is to create a cadre of future conservation leaders, instilled with a profound sense of duty and service, and to give children who have lost a parent in military service a tangible way to honor their legacy.
In addition to supporting the Ocean Conservation school, NFL Green has teamed up with Special Ops Veterans from FORCE BLUE to restore a football field-shaped coral reef off the coast of Florida and a kelp forest off the coast of California. Planning is underway for a Super Bowl LVII project in Arizona to revitalize the lower Salt River.
About NFL Green
The National Football League has incorporated environmental projects into the management of special events for nearly 30 years. NFL Green is the NFL’s sustainability program which aims to reduce the environmental impact of events and leave a positive “green” legacy in host communities. These efforts include food recovery and distribution, recycling and solid waste management, recovery and donation of event and building materials, community greening and reforestation projects, the use of “green energy” to power events and Super Kids-Super Sharing, a community initiative to help support local youth.