The Green Bay Packers, along with program partners Green Bay Packaging Inc. and SCA, celebrated another successful year of the First Downs for Trees program by planting trees at the Norbert Hill Center in Oneida on Tuesday, June 2.
The program this year donated a total of 530 trees to 18 local communities based on the team's 356 first downs last season.
First Downs for Trees is a cooperative effort between the Packers and partners Green Bay Packaging Inc. and SCA. The program receives administrative support from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Public Service. 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.
The 530 trees this year were donated to 18 local communities including: Allouez, Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, De Pere, Green Bay, Hobart, Holland, Howard, Lawrence, Ledgeview, Morrison, Pulaski, Rockland, Scott, Suamico, Town of Wrightstown, Brown County and the Oneida Tribe.
Two corporate partners, SCA and Green Bay Packaging, Inc., once again this year provided the program with funds to result in the planting of even more trees in Brown County communities.
Three nurseries, Tillman Nursery, Meacham Nursery and Leaves Inspired, provided the trees this year. A combination of elm, linden, lilac, oak, honey locust and flowering crab trees are among the species that were planted.
"The Packers and our partners, Green Bay Packaging and SCA, are excited to support our local communities again with trees from the program," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "With 530 additional trees planted this year, we're pleased to know that we're having a positive impact on reducing our carbon footprint."
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, more than 3,200 Packers trees have been planted, providing total lifetime benefits of more than $15 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.