By Josh Cohen
March 23, 2015
ORLANDO -- By helping plant a garden at the Jackson Community Center in Orlando’s Parramore area, Ben Gordon and the Orlando Magic showed how important it is to take care of the environment and eat homegrown fruits and vegetables.
Monday’s participation coincided with NBA Green Week 2015, which generates awareness and funds to protect the environment.
In addition to soiling a garden and decorating the pots for the plants, Gordon, Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw and volunteers from the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) and Owens Facility educated students on the importance of water conservation and healthy nutritional habits. The Magic also donated plants, soil and gardening tools to benefit the community center.
“It’s special contributing to life,” Gordon said. “These kids are able to take home a plant that will bear fresh fruits and vegetables and I am happy to be part of something like this.”
“My grandma when I grew up had a garden in her backyard,” he added. “When I heard about the opportunity to come out and do something like this, it reminded me of my grandma so that made it even more special for me.”
Throughout Green Week, the Magic will join the NBA to encourage fans of all ages to share the small steps they take each day to make a difference by using the hashtag #NBAGreen and tag @orlandomagic and @communityleak.
The NBA will be partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant three trees for every 3-pointer made during NBA Green Week. The NBA will plant a tree each time the hashtag #NBAGreen is posted (up to 25,000).
There are many ways people can save energy, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, including turning off appliances and lights when you leave a room, have leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems repaired and insulate your home, water heater and pipes.
There are also plenty of ways to conserve water, including taking short showers instead of tub baths, set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only (not the street or sidewalk) and sweep outside instead of using a hose.
“It’s amazing to know that not just a utility company is spreading the knowledge but also the Magic and the NBA,” Senior Community Relations Coordinator at OUC Karlene Santiago said. “It’s always nice and warm to see them (Magic and players).”
The Magic will continue their Green Week celebration during Friday’s game against the Detroit Pistons at Amway Center. Representatives from the Jackson Community Center will be given an autographed NBA Green Week basketball at halftime. In addition, OUC will be at Fan Fest (pregame on Church St.) talking to Magic fans about how they can score big at home by saving water, energy and money.