The announcement was made at Skyline Park in Ashwaubenon, located just south of Lambeau Field. A tree was planted to kick off the program.
Through the program, the Packers will provide additional trees to be planted in Brown County, with one tree to be planted for each first down earned by the team during the regular season. (Last year's squad gained 335 first downs.) A combination of sugar maples, hackberry, honeylocust and flowering crab trees are among the species that will be used.
"Trees are a tremendous natural resource in our communities that too often are taken for granted," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "Through this program, the Packers Green Team will augment the work our local forestry departments accomplish each year. As the football team racks up first downs, we'll be adding to the positive environmental impact trees have, while beautifying our neighborhoods, providing energy savings and producing cleaner air."
'First Downs for Trees' will complement the team's use of Wisconsin Public Service's NatureWise renewable energy program to power Lambeau Field on gamedays by targeting the carbon emitted by the Packers' air charters to road games, which is approximately 450 tons in a year.
Once planted, the 300-plus trees immediately will sequester carbon, and within five years, 30 cumulative tons of carbon will be sequestered. As the trees mature, the carbon sequestration increases, reaching 150 tons in 10 years, 370 tons in 15 years and 750 tons in 20 years. Through 40 years, the 300-plus trees will have sequestered more than 2,700 tons of carbon.
"The "First Downs for Trees" program is just one of several the Packers Green Team has been involved in recently," said WPS President & CEO Larry Borgard. "We've been proud to partner with them on their latest effort as well as to continue to supply renewable energy for their home games through the WPS NatureWise program. I believe Wisconsin Public Service and the Green Bay Packers make a good team."
"The department looks forward to partnering with the Packers and local units of government to help demonstrate the value and many benefits of trees in the community," said Ron Kazmierczak, director of DNR's northeastern region.
The Packers Green Team's efforts, which focus on using renewable resources and other sustainable practices on game day and every day at Lambeau Field, have resulted in an increase in amount of recyclable material collected from games over the past two years, with the improvement going from two tons to more than four tons per game. Waste Management is the team's waste and recycling partner.
More information about the Packers Green Team's efforts, including the organization's everyday sustainable efforts, is online at www.packers.com/community/green_team. Links to resources other organizations and individuals can use to increase their own sustainable practices also are available.