Seen here is the “Passing of the Golden Shovel” signifying the shift of Super Bowl greening initiatives from the previous host community to the next.

(PHOENIX, AZ) – On October 23, 2023, Conocido Park became the stage for a momentous event signifying progress toward a more sustainable future. The National Football League (NFL), in partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee, Arizona Cardinals, Keep Phoenix Beautiful, Phoenix Parks and Recreation, APS, and Verizon, united for the ceremonial passing of the symbolic Super Bowl “Golden Shovel.” This ritual, known as the “Passing of the Golden Shovel,” signifies the shift of Super Bowl greening initiatives from the previous host community to the next. This year, the symbolic shovel journeyed from Arizona to Las Vegas, highlighting the importance of environmental sustainability—a milestone acknowledged and celebrated by Keep America Beautiful®.   

“We have been incredibly proud to hold the Golden Shovel over the last year,” said Tom Waldeck, President, and CEO of Keep Phoenix Beautiful.  “Our work with NFL Green and other partners has not only mitigated the environmental impact of bringing a huge event like the Super Bowl to Arizona but also left a lasting impact and legacy.  All the trees planted were desert friendly, low water usage, and will provide shade and cooling for the community.  And we started a trend too!  Fifty-seven trees for Super Bowl 57.  That tradition has now been passed on to Las Vegas for Super Bowl 58.” 

Keep Phoenix Beautiful team pictured with the “Golden Shovel”.

‘Following the ceremonial passing of the Golden Shovel from Arizona to Las Vegas, volunteers from Verizon and the local community joined parks department staff to plant 57 trees at Conocido Park in Phoenix as a final tribute to Super Bowl LVII. The trees will provide shade, beauty, and a cool place for people to escape the desert heat. Low water usage desert trees, including Red Push Pistache, were planted, enhancing the park’s landscape and ensuring a greener environment for future generations.  

“We have had the pleasure of working with Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Phoenix Parks and Recreation on a number of Super Bowl greening projects including the Passing of the Golden Shovel event,” said Susan Groh, Associate Director of NFL Green. “We couldn’t ask for better partners. They’ve helped us to develop impactful greening projects with tremendous community benefit, adding to the ‘Green Legacy’ we strive to leave behind in each Super Bowl host community.”  

The National Football League has incorporated environmental projects into the management of tentpole events for more than 30 years. NFL Green is the NFL’s sustainability program which aims to reduce the environmental impact of events and leave a positive “green” legacy in host communities. The “Passing of the Golden Shovel” ceremony marks the transition of Super Bowl greening projects from the last Super Bowl host community of Arizona to the next in Las Vegas.   

“I was lucky enough to attend last year’s Super Bowl and witness firsthand the commitment to green strategies and projects that the golden shovel represents,” said Jennifer Lawson, President, and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “The continuity of impact, symbolized by passing the shovel forward to the next city, strengthens our shared commitment to doing beautiful and sustainable projects. We are excited to collaborate with NFL Green and the communities of Phoenix and Las Vegas as they plant the seeds—and hopefully the trees—for a green and beautiful Super Bowl, both past and present.” 

About NFL Green

NFL Green, the league’s environmental program, works to mitigate the environmental impact of the NFL’s major events and create a “green” legacy in each community that hosts Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, and the NFL Draft. These objectives are addressed through active partnerships with NFL sponsors, local host committees, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.  

About Keep Phoenix Beautiful  

Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a non-profit organization was launched in 1982, and is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful.  Our vision is a vibrant Phoenix where each neighborhood is a healthy, beautiful place to live.  Keep Phoenix Beautiful inspires individuals and organizations through leadership, active partnerships, and meaningful volunteer experiences. 

About Keep America Beautiful®:

Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful® strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green, and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. The organization is driven by the work and passion of 700 Keep America Beautiful® affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedin, and YouTubeDonate and take action at


McCall Vrydaghs

Keep America Beautiful®