Tampa/Miami, FL (April 22, 2009)- Super Bowl XLIII may be history, but the National Football League continues to make its environmental mark across the state of Florida. The NFL has partnered with the Florida State Division of Forestry, TREE, Inc., the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Dolphins and seven cities across the state to create a living bridge between Super Bowl host communities. Seven tree plantings will take place during Earth Week (April 20-25) beginning on National Arbor Day, April 22, in Tampa.
Over the course of three days, April 22-24, seven cities will host tree plantings including Tampa, Lakeland, Sebring, Belle Glade, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami Gardens. The tree ceremonies will “connect the dots” between Tampa Bay, host site for Super Bowl XLIII, and South Florida, host community for Super Bowl XLIV. Members of both Super Bowl host committees will participate in selected events during the week. Representatives from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be part of the ceremony in Tampa while representatives of the Miami Dolphins will join the ceremony on Thursday, April 23 in Fort Lauderdale.
These tree plantings will symbolize a passing of the environmental mantle from one host community to the next and will mark the final environmental project of Super Bowl XLIII and the first environmental project for Super Bowl XLIV. Environmental projects have been part of Super Bowl activities for 17 years. Over the past five years, efforts have included urban forestry and habitat restoration efforts. In Tampa Bay this year, nearly 2,000 trees were planted with the help of 50 local, state and federal agencies and organizations and several hundred community volunteers as part of the “greening ” of the Super Bowl host community.
These urban forestry projects leave a permanent, visible green legacy in the host community. Through a partnership with the United Sates Forest Service, all the trees planted in the past five years – more than 20,000 in all – will be monitored to record their long term environmental impact.
Representatives from the NFL, the State Division of Forestry and from each local city will participate in the tree plantings. All the trees will be of the South Florida Slash Pine species – a native Florida tree that is well adapted to the climate across the state.
Throughout the year leading up to Super Bowl XLIV, projects will be developed that manage solid waste and increase recycling; reuse materials from events and donate them to local nonprofit agencies; and recover prepared food from Super Bowl events. The NFL also looks for ways to fight climate change in each host community by developing fuel efficient strategies, alternative fuel usage, purchase of renewable energy for selected facilities and offsetting travel emissions for players and officials coming to the game.
Schedule of events for this week’s Super Bowl “Trail of Trees” project:
April 22, Tampa (9 am), Lakeland (1 pm), and Sebring (4 pm);
April 23, Belle Glade (10 am), West Palm Beach (12:30 pm), and Fort Lauderdale (2 pm);
April 24, Miami Gardens (9 am).
For more information, contact: Jack Groh at 401-952-0886 or Clare Graff at 212-450-2435/917-816-2885.