Around 50 Las Vegas Super Bowl volunteer team members joined representatives from the NFL, Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee, Raiders and the city of Henderson to plant dozens of trees at Arroyo Grande Sports Complex.
The desert trees, which can thrive on less water than other trees, are being planted to provide shade, aesthetics and cooling at the sports complex. With the addition of more greenery officials also hope to reduce the urban heat island effect and carbon in the environment.
“Any time that we can partner with somebody as high profile as the NFL, it’s a great opportunity for us to promote our healthy, livable, sustainable community,” Henderson Mayor Michelle Romero said. “It’s going to add some greenery to the park, but it also helps us create more oxygen and to do the things that we do to clean the air. … Everything we want to do in our goal toward sustainability.”
The program is designed to leave a lasting impact on Super Bowl host communities, with more than a dozen events at various locations in Clark County planned between now and the Super Bowl on Feb. 11. They include multiple tree-planting events, community garden revitalization, removing non-play turf and adding xeriscape and the creation of gardens.
The NFL has carried out similar initiatives in Southern Nevada tied to the 2022 NFL Draft and Pro Bowls in 2022 and this year.
“Today is just the start,” said Susan Groh, associate director of the NFL Environmental Program. “Coordination of what’s being done here in this area to help a lot with water issues and that cooling effect.”
Tuesday’s event included a ceremonial passing of the Golden Shovel from Arizona to Las Vegas to signify the handoff of the program from last season’s Super Bowl host to this year’s.
Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Vice President of Social Responsibility Jennie Patel said the Las Vegas Valley should expect a significant community investment from the NFL.
“The lead-up to the Super Bowl is incredible,” Patel said. “The social impact that the community receives from hosting a Super Bowl is absolutely incredible. These greening projects, the food and material recovery projects, really as a whole mitigating that environmental impact of hosting the Super Bowl.”
Patel noted that the NFL is no stranger to Las Vegas, with the Pro Bowl and the Draft having been held here.
“Las Vegas has really embraced the NFL and has shown why a Super Bowl can be in this market and be a huge success,” she said. “The community is benefiting from all of the aspects that go into hosting a Super Bowl.”