PHILADELPHIA – The NFL is teaming with the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, NFL sponsor Verizon and several local non-profit organizations to reduce the environmental impact of events and activities connected to the NFL Draft and leave a positive "green" legacy in the Philadelphia host community.
Below is a sampling of environmental initiatives taking place during Draft Week in Philadelphia:
- Food and Material Recovery: collection and donation of leftover food and beverage from NFL Draft events using the Food Connect mobile app, which connects event managers with local food banks, shelters and other agencies seeking extra food to serve people in need. Materials leftover from NFL Draft are being collected post-event and donated to a number of local organizations that can reuse or repurpose fabric, vinyl, mesh and construction materials.
- Hunting Park Pollinator Planting: The NFL is teaming with the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Verizon and community volunteers to create a pollinator protection habitat for Monarch butterflies that migrate through the Philadelphia area. Partners and volunteers will gather at Hunting Park on Wednesday, April 26 at 9:00 a.m. for a brief ceremony followed by a community planting.
- Pennypack Park Habitat Restoration: The NFL is providing support for a long-term habitat restoration project along the Delaware River at Pennypack Park. The project will include the removal of several invasive species that have crowded out native species and re-planting of the area to restore native trees and plants.
- Renewable Energy: use of renewable energy to power key NFL Draft venues and activities along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in downtown Philadelphia.
- Solid Waste Management / Recycling: extensive can and bottle recycling and composting collection in public areas. NFL Draft Experience attendees will find hundreds of recycling bins throughout the event site – many of them provided by Pepsi as part of their contribution to the "greening" of the NFL Draft. Food service areas will feature composting stations to help divert additional waste from the event. Event management companies C3 Presents, Venue Smart and the Philadelphia Streets Department are all working together to reduce the total landfill usage from the event. Water bottle refill stations will be located strategically throughout the Benjamin Franklin Parkway campus and will be staffed by volunteers to assist fans in refilling their bottles. Philadelphia's "Waste Watchers" organization is recruiting and training more than one hundred community "Green Team" volunteers to staff the recycling and water station areas.
- Urban Forestry Efforts: as part of the partners' Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project, the NFL, Verizon and Arbor Day Foundation will plant five trees for every player drafted – amounting to more than 1,280 trees.
The NFL Environmental Program is one of a significant number of community initiatives developed by the NFL to leave a positive legacy in the Draft host community. For more information on the 2017 NFL Draft, visit www.NFL.com/Draft.