This week, the Ravens showed up in full force for GamePlanEarth (GPE), initiatives established and led by the Ravens to help make Baltimore cleaner, greener and healthier. While the program's goal is to educate the public about growing environmental challenges, Ravens staff and players take on the responsibility of setting the example to show how to recycle, reuse and conserve.
"It is important for us to not just tell fans what they can do, but show them through our actions," said Kelly Quinlan, community relations coordinator for the team. "We have so many resources in our Baltimore community that are not being used to their pot
ential, and GPE week is an opportunity to shed light on their missions."
These resources include the Baltimore Community ToolBank, an organization located down the street from M&T Bank Stadium, which stewards an inventory of tools and lends them to charitable organizations for just pennies on the dollar to help increase the impact of their mission-related efforts in the community.
Through a partnership with Parks & People Foundation, the ToolBank also continues to find ways to improve the quality of the environment that surrounds their warehouse by creating urban rain gardens which reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality.
"Because we are such a small staff, our ability to take on these projects and improve the environment in our neighborhoods is contingent on volunteers," explained Noah Smock, executive director of the Baltimore Community ToolBank. "Without volunteers, we would only be able to stick to our core mission, which is powerful and meaningful, but we can leverage more community benefit with new audiences who join us as volunteers."
On Monday, Nov. 16, Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox joined staff to help the ToolBank put the finishing touches on a two-year project in their rain garden and storm water factory. Smock added, "We cheer the Ravens on every week and it was awesome for them to come here, cheer us on and expose the work we are doing to new audiences."
Later in the week, the ToolBank loaned vests, gloves and garbage pickers to assist the Ravens in a road cleanup. Over 25 staff members took to the litter-lined roads that lead into the team's Under Armour Performance Center in an effort to clean and beautify the area. Litter collection and recycling will also be in full force at the game this weekend when the Ravens take on the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 22. Prior to kickoff, approximately 50 volunteers from the Green Street Academy, sponsored by the BGE Eco-Team, will wear green GPE shirts and walk the lots collecting recyclable material, educating fans and handing out a limited number of Ravens #GamePlanEarth-marked giveaways. The group will then attend the game as guests of the Ravens and be recognized in-game for their collection efforts.
Fans are encouraged to stop by the GPE tent located on RavensWalk, where members of the Ravens staff will be handing out limited quantities of eco-friendly giveaways, educating fans and encouraging the use of #GamePlanEarth. By visiting the GPE tent and using the hashtag through social media, one lucky fan will be selected to win an autographed item.
M&T Bank Stadium will be lit green at night from Friday to Sunday as part of the GPE initiative.
For more information on GamePlanEarth, please visit http://www.baltimoreravens.com/gameplanearth.