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Tampa’s greener side benefits from Super Bowl LV

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Super Bowl LV is bringing out the greener side of Tampa. The Buccaneers and the NFL are teaming up to make Tampa Bay more environmentally friendly.

Each year the ‘NFL Green’ initiative works to improve the city hosting the Super Bowl. ‘Green Week’ caps off a seasons worth of green projects around Tampa Bay.

The associate director of NFL Green, Susan Groh told 8 On Your Side, “We’re all dependent on the environment for our lives and I think taking care of it is the right thing to do. Not just on the sports level, but on an individual aspect as well.”

Volunteers are adding features to Reed Park in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood Tuesday.

Teams are installing two hydroponic grow towers, building and implanting garden beds and pollinator gardens. They’re also planting mango trees and creating a community compost area.

“Volunteers in the Tampa Bay area have been turning out for every one of these projects all season,” described Groh. “Showing up, putting on masks and socially distancing but putting trees in the ground and mangroves planted and shore lines rebuilt. Its been really encouraging to seem.”

Fifty-five retired special operations military veterans did their part by cleaning discarded fishing gear and other trash from the water near Spanish Rocks Reef in Anna Maria Island.

“The eyes of the world are on Super Bowl and it’s a great chance to get that message out there and it’s a great time to encourage others to join in and do some projects,” Groh said.

Local non-profits also benefit from the clean up efforts, according to Groh.

“You’ll see all these terrific displays and banners and lots of super bowl decorations around the host city,” she said. “When the game is over we want to make sure that those find a new use. Those get donated to non-profits and remade into other items same with building materials and office supplies we use.”

‘NFL Green Week’ runs through Friday, January 29. The following projects are scheduled:

  • Dive 55 Marine Debris Clean Up – Monday, January 25
  • Reed Park Community Garden and Compost Center Build – Tuesday, January 26
  • Fruit Tree Orchard Planting – Thursday, January 28
  • Coral Reef Restoration – Thursday, January 28 through Friday, January 29

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