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Raiders, NFL kick off Pro Bowl week with green project at local park


On Tuesday afternoon, the league kicked off Pro Bowl week by picking up shovels.

Alongside members of the local Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada and community volunteers, the Raiders and NFL planted trees, shrubs and other desert plants, while also replacing grass with rock landscaping to help create a low-water use project at Acacia Demonstration Park in Henderson, Nevada. The park is unique in that it provides visitors with landscaping examples that are efficient for the Las Vegas Valley climate, hoping to establish a "green legacy" for the community.

The project is part of a larger collective to removing non-functional turf from local parks in an effort that will save 110 million gallons of water annually, per the City of Henderson.

In an opening press conference, Raiders President Sandra Douglass Morgan stressed the importance of the Silver and Black connecting with the hometown community.

"It's really important to the Raiders that we would be woven into the fabric of the Southern Nevada community," Douglass Morgan said. "To have this demonstration park right here in our hometown of Henderson at Acacia Park where people can actually learn and understand how we can help our environment and encourage families to use more sustainable efforts in their own homes, we're just really privileged and proud to be a part of it."

The Raiders have quickly extended outreach all over the Las Vegas Valley, working to enrich the community through initiatives with local schools, businesses and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Embedding the organization as a community partner has influenced on both the local and national scale.

"The impact the Raiders have is tremendous. That's why we're here as the league. That's why our biggest events are coming to Las Vegas – Pro Bowl, Super Bowl next year," Peter O'Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business and league events, told "Whenever we come in, it's important for us to not just play the game and leave. It's about the legacy we leave and the sustainable legacy that's here for kids and generations to come."

Raiders alumnus and Las Vegas resident Teyo Johnson joined in the shoveling and planting, and said he hopes that the work of the Raiders through both football and in the community inspires others to make changes to improve the area they call home.

"It's a real important initiative to inspire continued work on green initiatives and become more of a green city," Johnson said. "It's important not just to help make this be the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World, but one of the best communities to live in."

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