The Green Bay Packers, Essity and Green Bay Packaging, Inc., marked another successful year of the "First Downs for Trees" program Monday by distributing trees to local municipalities for planting.
Essity and Green Bay Packaging, Inc., the program's corporate partners, once again provided funds to result in the planting of 428 trees in 16 Brown County communities. One of the Packers' Green Team initiatives, the program donates trees to participating Brown County communities based on the number of first downs scored by the Packers in the previous season.
Two nurseries, Meacham Nursery and Leaves Inspired, provided the trees this year. A combination of elm, maple, lilac, oak, honey locust and flowering crab trees are among the species that were planted.
Receiving trees this year were Allouez, Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, De Pere, Green Bay, Hobart, Howard, Lawrence, Ledgeview, Morrison, Pulaski, Scott, Suamico, Wrightstown, Brown County and Oneida Tribe.
The program receives administrative support from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Public Service.
First Downs for Trees complements the team's recycling and landfill diversion programs at Lambeau Field by targeting the carbon emitted by the Packers' air charters to road games, which is approximately 450 tons in a year.
Since 2011, 5,572 trees have been planted through the program, providing total lifetime benefits of $26.9 million through stormwater runoff reduction, CO2 reduction, energy savings, air quality improvement and property value increase. Over their lifetime, the tree benefits exceed the costs of planting and care, representing a 300 percent return on investment. Tree benefits increase over time, highlighting the importance of not only planting trees, but of providing ongoing maintenance and protection.