NFL plants trees in Watts to celebrate Super Bowl LVI – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentry

Representatives from the Los Angeles Super Bowl Committee, NFL Green, Verizon and TreePeople pose with the Golden Super Bowl Shovel (Amanda Scurlock / LA Sentinel)

The NFL and the Los Angeles Super Bowl committee continue to improve the environment by partnering with TreePeople and Verizon to plant more than 25 trees in Watts. Dozens of volunteers planted Lemon Bottlebrush trees along Hickory Street between East 105e and 107 streets.

Trees are needed in urban areas to absorb pollutants, provide shade, and cool the area. Adding trees can also improve the mental well-being of residents. TreePeople is an organization that makes neighborhoods greener.

“TreePeople has been around for over 40 years and we’ve dedicated those years to expanding the urban canopy,” said LizBeth Gonzalez, Associate Director of TreePeople. “There are areas in the city of Los Angeles that lack an urban canopy, so our goal is to fill every empty boardwalk.”

Verizon’s partnership with the NFL and TreePeople has highlighted the environmental goals of the mobile phone company.

Volunteers worked together to plant brush lemon trees in a Watts neighborhood (Amanda Scurlock / LA Sentinel)

“By 2030, we will be planting a total of 20 million trees across the country,” said Ana Aguilar, director of consumer sales for Verizon. “Since partnering with the NFL, we’ve planted 7.8 million across the country. “

Verizon will also plant 5,600 trees in Southern California to celebrate 56 years of the Super Bowl. Aguilar, who grew up five miles from Watts, was thrilled to serve in her own community. NFL Green manager Jack Groh helped plant a tree. When a group of TreePeople volunteers finish planting a tree, they hold hands around the tree and give it a name. The tree that Jack helped plant was called Lucy.

NFL Green Associate Director Susan Groh spoke about how the league wants to leave a “lasting green legacy.”

“Being in the community makes all the difference,” she said. “We know our event will be here and then gone, but we want to make sure that when we come back in 10 years, there will still be a tangible benefit from that. “

While the trees will provide shade and other health benefits for area residents, they have also provided benefits to volunteers. UCLA graduate student Aliyah Lee found tree planting a significant break in her studies.

Representatives from the Los Angeles Super Bowl Committe and NFL Green work together to plant a tree (Amanda Scurlock / LA Sentinel)

“I just wanted to give back,” Lee said. “I’m from this neighborhood and have always complained about the lack of greenery here and thought to myself that I should probably start doing something instead of complaining all the time.”

This greening project is less about beautification and more about improving the well-being of the people of Watts.

“We only have a five percent shade canopy here at Watts. Beverly Hills has 25 percent shade canopy, ”said community organizer TreePeople for Watts Deborah Stephens-Browder. “The pollution that has been created by the industries around us, it hardens the soil, it pollutes the soil.”

NFL Green will continue to host projects until the Super Bowl on February 13. This includes a “Green Week” which will include at least four events taking place two weeks before the Super Bowl.

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