The Green Bay Packers, SCA and Green Bay Packaging Inc., marked another successful year of the “First Downs for Trees” program Tuesday by planting trees at De Pere’s Voyageur Park.

SCA and Green Bay Packaging, Inc., the program’s corporate partners, once again provided funds to result in the planting of 490 trees in 19 Brown County communities. One of the Packers’ Green Team initiatives, the program donates trees to participating Brown County communities based on the number of first downs scored by the Packers in the previous season. 

Three nurseries, Silver Creek, Meacham Nursery and Leaves Inspired, provided the trees this year. A combination of elm, linden, lilac, oak, honey locust and flowering crab trees are among the species that were distributed to local municipalities.

Receiving trees this year were Allouez, Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, De Pere, Green Bay, Hobart, Holland, Howard, Lawrence, Ledgeview, Morrison, Pulaski, Rockland, Scott, Suamico, Village of Wrightstown, Town of Wrightstown, Brown County and the Oneida Tribe.

“The Packers and our partners, Green Bay Packaging and SCA are proud to support the surrounding communities with 490 new trees from the program this year,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy at the event. “We’re pleased that our success on the field has allowed us to focus on sustainability and renewable resources in a way that will benefit local communities for years to come.”

The program receives administrative support from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Public Service.

Packers alumni Kevin Barry and Johnnie Gray joined Murphy at the planting event, as well as De Pere Mayor Mike Walsh and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. In addition, SCA marketing manager, value service campaigns, Carrie Schuster and Green Bay Packaging vice president of corporate container board sales, Jeffrey Walch made remarks on behalf of the program.

First Downs for Trees complements the team’s recycling and landfill diversion programs at Lambeau Field by targeting the carbon emitted by the Packers’ air charters to road games, which is approximately 450 tons in a year.

Since 2011, more than 3,600 trees have been planted through the program, providing total lifetime benefits of more than $18 million through stormwater runoff reduction, CO2 reduction, energy savings, air quality improvement and property value increase. Over their lifetime, the tree benefits exceed the costs of planting and care, representing a 300 percent return on investment. Tree benefits increase over time, highlighting the importance of not only planting trees, but of providing ongoing maintenance and protection.

Related: Packers plant trees in De Pere