To kick off the sustainability efforts for the 2014 NCAA Men's Final Four® in North Texas, the First Four® trees were planted on February 12, 2014. The City of Arlington is proud to partner with the NCAA to celebrate this event and demonstrate the importance of trees and their environmental impact. Arlington will plant 1,014 trees throughout the community to commemorate the Men's Final Four in North Texas.
"Green Court" – A Sustainable Legacy Project
A "Green Court" will be created almost entirely of recycled materials and will be unveiled at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center. The multi-sport court will be a legacy project of the Men's Final Four sustainability program. The Big 12 Conference will help sustain the court with an annual refurbishment stipend.
"Clear out the Cabinet" – Food Recovery & Donation
Final Four volunteers will donate four non-perishable food items in exchange for their volunteer uniform during volunteer orientation in March. The items will be given to the North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant County Food Bank and then distributed to their recipients.
NCAA's Public Fan Express – A Public Transportation Option
The NCAA and the North Texas Local Organizing Committee have been working closely with state officials and transit authorities to determine the best way to get ticketholders to AT&T Stadium quickly, easily and sustainably during the Men's Final Four. A great transportation option for fans is the Fan Express, which offers a combination of rail and bus service to AT&T Stadium on Friday, Saturday and Monday of Final Four weekend. Tickets are available now at Dart.org/FinalFour.
Youth Education – Teaching Younger Generations to Go Green
In partnership with the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), NCAA youth clinic participants will hear from EPA representatives on healthy lifestyles and air and water preservation. The basics include reducing energy and materials used, reusing what you can and recycling the rest. Also, as a part of SLANT (Service Learning Adventures in North Texas), youth grades 3-8 are creating service learning projects focused on issues related to environmental health. Currently 650 SLANT participants have designed SLANT projects concentrating on environmental health.
Renew. Reduce. Replay. Start with Art! – A Community Art Program
The NCAA sustainability committee is inviting North Texas artists to showcase artwork made of sustainable (or recycled) materials. The sustainability committee and the local artists plan to creatively showcase the importance and impact of recycling in North Texas. The artwork will be showcased as part of the display, called Renew. Reduce. Replay. Start with Art! Display locations include the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Other sites announced at a later date.
Recycling – All Events Will Go Green
All 2014 NCAA Men's Final Four events and venues are focused on going green during the tournament. Coca-Cola is collaborating with host venues and is playing a huge role in collecting recyclable materials at Bracket Town™, presented by Capital One®, NCAA® March Madness® Music Festival, and other fan-friendly events. AT&T Stadium is focused on recycling at all stadium events, including Tip-Off Tailgate™ presented by Infiniti, Reese's® Final Four Friday® and the championship. For the first time, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas plans to compost during Final Four festivities. The convention center will also donate unused food items left over from events. Patrons will have the option to pick up recycling bags upon entry to stadium parking lots.
At all Final Four events, volunteers and staff will be asked to keep an eye out for recycled materials. Volunteers and venue staff are the first line of defense. For the latest on event activations or volunteer opportunities for the 2014 Men's Final Four, check out NCAA.com/FinalFour.
• Ishmael Arebalos, The Coca-Cola Company North America Group
• Cameron Balch, EPA
• Brett Daniels, Dallas Cowboys
• Rob Carolla, Big 12 Conference
• Lori Chance, Local Organizing Committee
• Heather Dowell, City of Arlington Parks and Recreation
• Steve Epperson, AT&T Stadium
• George Fuller, Coca-Cola Refreshments USA
• Elisa Halpin, NCAA
• Phillip Hiner-Leamon, Local Organizing Committee
• Tony O'Sullivan, City of Dallas
• Sara Palmer, Local Organizing Committee
• Mark Root, Coca-Cola Recycling
• Melissa Smith, EPA
• Joyce Stubblefield, EPA
• Amanda Whitelaw, Local Organizing Committee
• Scott Woodrow, AT&T Stadium
• Bonnie Zitek, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center