On April 20, the First Downs for Trees program celebrated its 11th year by distributing 411 trees to 16 Brown County communities for planting. First Downs for Trees is a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and corporate sponsors Essity and Green Bay Packaging, Inc.
The program donates trees to participating communities based on the number of first downs in the previous season.
On average, NFL teams produce more than 450 tons of carbon dioxide per year in travel, and the Packers wanted to reduce those effects as a part of their Green Team initiative. The donated trees help the Packers offset their carbon footprint. These trees also increase the urban forest canopy and provide a plethora of environmental, economic, social and health benefits to Brown County residents.
To date, 5,983 trees have been planted through the program, providing total lifetime benefits of $28.8 million through lower energy bills, reduced stormwater runoff, cleaner air and water and higher property values.
The communities of Allouez, Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, Brown County, De Pere, Green Bay, Hobart, Howard, Lawrence, Ledgeview, Morrison, Oneida Tribe, Pulaski, Scott, Suamico and Wrightstown received the trees. The trees were provided by Leaves Inspired and Meacham nurseries.