500 Volunteers Expected to Clean Up Lower Salt River in Largest NFL Green Event in History
By Bhoomi Jain and Shelby Tuttle
As Arizona’s Super Bowl Committee begins to ramp up activities across the Valley in preparation for the Big Game, many people are planning to join the largest NFL Green event in history for the kickoff of NFL Green Week on Saturday, January 21.
This massive event is expected to attract more than 500 volunteers, who will help clean up and remove existing debris from the riverbed and banks of the Lower Salt River. The committee is also working with a group of military veterans through FORCE BLUE, who will work to remove an invasive species of apple snails from the river. Apple snails are native to South America, but have invaded several parts of the U.S., their migration thought to be attributed to the aquarium trade. These snails have the ability to grow as large as an apple and can have a disastrous effect on aquatic ecosystems, as well as carry parasites dangerous to humans. The snails have been problematic within the Salt River for years, decimating river plant life that serves as food for other animals and even consuming the eggs of other snail species.
The event will be held at the Phon D Sutton Recreation Area in Mesa. Participants should wear long pants, thick-sole and closed toe shoes, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Sturdy water shoes or waders are recommended, if available, and flip-flops or sandals will not be permitted. A Tonto parking pass is not required for this event. Volunteers will be entered to win Super Bowl 2023 swag or tickets to OdySea Aquarium.
For more information and to register for the event, visit: