BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — The NFL and the Super Bowl LII Host Committee are making the Twin Cities a bit more green.

Dozens of volunteers joined them Monday in Brooklyn Park, planting trees to replace trees killed by the Emerald Ash Borer.

One shovel at a time, it’s an eco-friendly step forward in Norwood Park. Jack Groh, Director of the NFL Environmental Program, says it’s more than just planting trees.

“People become more aware of what folks in their own community are doing,” he said. “For instance, tree planting organizations before have told us that after we work with them for the Super Bowl and after they get that Super Bowl spotlight shown on them, sometimes it’s easier for them to recruit more volunteers, because now people in the community have heard about them and have joined in.”

Community was a strong theme Monday. Volunteers Tom Brusegaard and his wife were hard at work, on his 70th birthday.

“It’s kind of a milestone birthday, and she thought this would be kind of a good opportunity to give back to the community, and this is our city where we live, so we like to do things for Brooklyn Park,” Tom said.

Monday saw 65 trees planted of 19 different species by dozens of volunteers — all to help bring life back into the park.

Brusegaard says he’s spending his birthday here, because it’s his grandson’s favorite park.

“So this is the next step to find disease resistant trees that will be here for the next fifty years, so my grandson can come back and I’ll bring him and show him which trees I planted,” he said. “He, hopefully, can continue to use the park and get his kids here.”

Although the Super Bowl will come and go, it’ll leave behind a legacy. This was the final out of fifteen Urban Forestry projects across the state to restore and enhance local areas. Verizon and the Andersen Corporation and other local organizations also helped with today’s project.


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