NEW YORK -- As part of the League's commitment to preserve and support the local environments of host cities for NHL® events, NHL Green™ and the Buffalo Sabres Green Team announced today a legacy tree project to commemorate the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, N.Y.
In cooperation with the Buffalo Sabres® and Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the NHL Foundation is donating 30 trees to represent each Member Club's commitment to environmental sustainability. NHL Green first launched the Legacy Tree Project at the 2012 NHL Draft™ in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The 2016 NHL Green Legacy Tree Project will take place during the NHL Combine™, an event that brings approximately 100 top prospects for the NHL Draft into one place for interviews with NHL teams as well as medical and physical testing.
The planting event will bring together NHL prospects and NHL alumni to enhance an underserved community with the addition of various species of maturing trees: swamp white oak, serviceberry, sycamore, freeman maple, river birch, red oak, yellow buckeye, katsura and red buds. The trees will take root at Buffalo's Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, a short drive from First Niagara Center, home of the Sabres.
"The Buffalo Sabres are very proud to host the 2016 NHL Draft and to continue the NHL Green Legacy Tree Project by planting 30 trees in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park," said Russ Brandon, President of the Buffalo Sabres. "We are pleased to partner with the NHL Green program on this event and to continue our efforts to preserve and support the health of our local community."
The trees are not only a point of community pride, but together the trees offer environmental benefits to residents - helping to reduce local carbon dioxide levels, improve air quality and mitigate storm water runoff.
"We hope these trees serve as a visible reminder of hockey's commitment to our local environment," said Omar Mitchell, NHL VP of Corporate Social Responsibility. "The NHL Green Legacy Tree Project is an example of our commitment to enhance the health, livability and long-term sustainability of NHL communities."
The tree planting will take place at Buffalo's Martin Luther King, Jr. Park today, June 3, at 3:00 p.m. Expected to attend the event are NHL prospects Kieffer Bellows, Jakob Chychrun, Adam Fox and Lucas Johansen as well as Sabres Alumni Rob Ray, Danny Gare and Rene Robert.
The Buffalo Sabres, First Niagara Center, city of Buffalo and National Hockey League will host the 2016 NHL Draft™ on June 24-25.
About the Buffalo Sabres Green Team
The Buffalo Sabres are dedicated to the sustainability of the environment in Western New York and Southern Ontario through the "Blue & Gold Make Green Initiative." The organization is committed to creating programming to help fans reduce their environmental footprint and, at the same time, educate Sabres fans on conservation issues, teaching fans how to be greener and directing them to additional resources where they can learn more about environmental issues.
About NHL Green
NHL Green™ is the comprehensive, high-impact environmental initiative of the League promoting sustainable business operations among Member Clubs and raising awareness of environmental concerns among fans and partners alike. The NHL® is the first and only major professional sports league to issue an environmental sustainability report. Having counterbalanced the carbon emissions from the past two seasons, the League currently stands as the 21st-largest user of green power in the United States (according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and is the recipient of the 2015 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. EPA. Since 2011, the NHL has helped restore nearly 50 million gallons of water to rivers and streams in the United States. All 30 NHL Clubs are members of the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit that convenes the sports industry to promote collaboration toward healthier, more sustainable communities.