NFL Green Week

The countdown to Super Bowl LVII is on and numerous NFL Green events will take place in the days leading up to the game. The events of Super Bowl “Green Week” will focus on restoring the Lower Salt River, planting trees and creating a pollinator habitat, as well as putting books, sports equipment and school supplies in the hands of local kids that need them.

These projects cap off a season of community greening initiatives implemented in Arizona by NFL Green in partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon, APS and the Arizona Cardinals. 

Here is a full rundown of “Green Week” events:

Lower Salt River Restoration – ​​Saturday, Jan. 21

This event takes place from 8 a.m. to noon at the Tonto National Forest Phon D. Sutton Recreation Area in Mesa. Hundreds of community volunteers will join the NFL Green team and its partners, OdySea Aquarium, Force Blue, Natural Restorations, USDA Forest Service and Phoenix Zoo to help restore the Lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest, where invasive apple snails are threatening the ecosystem.

For the largest community volunteer clean up event ever implemented by NFL Green, hundreds of community volunteers will remove debris from the banks of the Lower Salt River, cleaning the riverbanks at Granite Reef, Pebble Beach, Coon Bluff, Water Users, Goldfield and Phon D. Sutton.

Kayakers will also assist in the water by removing apple snail egg clusters and debris from the waterway, while special ops retired military veterans from Force Blue will remove invasive apple snails from the riverbed. Divers from Force Blue will focus on the deepest part of the river at Granite Reef.

Phoenix Zoo Pollinator Habitat Project – Monday, Jan. 23

After a quick break on Sunday, the work resumes with a project at the Phoenix Zoo's Africa Trail in Phoenix at 455 N. Galvin Pkwy. from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23.  

The Green Week partners will team up with the Phoenix Zoo to plant native trees, bushes and pollinator-attracting plants along the Phoenix Zoo’s Africa Trail. The project will support pollinators, reduce erosion and increase shade and cooling along a major public pathway. Signage will direct guests to resources that will help them attract and sustain pollinators in their own community and encourage them to be “habitat helpers” by planting low-water usage/local species to support pollinators.

Native Health Beautification Project – Tuesday, Jan. 24

The Green Week events continue at Native Health, 777 W. Southern Ave., in Mesa from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesday.

The NFL Green team and its partners will be joined by Keep Phoenix Beautiful and community volunteers to help landscape and beautify gardens at the entrance to Native Health in Mesa, a facility that provides health and wellness services and food distribution to the urban indigenous community and other underserved communities in Phoenix metro areas.

The project will be celebrated with a Native American blessing, land acknowledgement and a traditional flute ceremony as soon as planting work is completed around 11 a.m. 

Super Kids-Super Sharing Donation Project – Thursday, Jan. 26

Super Kids-Super Sharing has been implemented in every Super Bowl host community for the past 24 years. This year, more than 70 local schools and all Valley of the Sun YMCA’s will be donating gently used and new books, sports equipment, school supplies and games to be shared with 100 recipient schools and youth-focused organizations.

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center Phoenix, located at 1375 E. Broadway Road in Phoenix.

Hundreds of students from donating schools will arrive at 9 a.m. to drop off and help sort items, then enjoy interactive stations provided by the Arizona Cardinals. Representatives from recipient schools and organizations will select the items they can use beginning at 1 p.m., and each recipient organization will also receive a gift from Wilson Sporting Goods. 

As part of Super Kids-Super Sharing, Verizon will present a $25,000 grant to Chicanos Por La Causa to help support families that have experienced trauma. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee will present a Super Bowl Legacy grant to Elevate Phoenix. Funds will be used to purchase a van to transport youth to and from program activities; provide hundreds of teacher-mentor hours to teach accredited curriculum in the classroom and provide tutoring and mentoring (direct services); purchase curriculum and other supplies.

NFL Green is partnering with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Arizona Cardinals, The Salvation Army, Verizon and the Valley of the Sun YMCA for Super Kids-Super Sharing.

Pollinator Habitat Project with Butterfly Wonderland Foundation – Friday, Jan. 27

At the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) demonstration treatment wetlands, native pollinator plants will be planted to expand pollinator habitat in partnership with Butterfly Wonderland Foundation on Friday, Jan. 27.

Two bee boxes and two benches will also be installed in the area. At the completion of the planting, 90 painted lady butterflies, which are native to the area, will be released. Plant signage will be installed which shows the common plant name, scientific name and also the name of the plant in the native language of Salt River Pima and Maricopa Indian tribes.

Goodyear tree planting and beautification project – Saturday, Jan. 28

The last Green Week event is at Historic Loma Linda Park in Goodyear, at 420 E. Loma Linda Blvd., from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Here, the NFL Green team and its partners, the City of Goodyear, Goodyear Parks and Recreation and neighborhood volunteers will join forces to plant low water-use trees and shrubs as part of a beautification project at the park. 

The park is located where the roots of Goodyear began. The five-acre park provides a place for the community to come together. Community volunteers will help to plant evergreen elm trees and numerous shrubs and install decomposed granite. Turf will be minimized and replaced with xeriscaping – all with a focus on low water consumption.

Additionally, NFL sustainability partner Verizon will plant 5,700 trees (100 trees for each Super Bowl) in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests to restore areas heavily impacted by wildfire. The initiative will enhance wildlife habitat, help to restore the watershed and perpetuate the recovery of southwestern forests to their historic species composition.

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.

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.

For more information about the NFL Green program, visit nfl.com/causes/nfl-green.

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