PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If anyone has a “green” thumb, wouldn’t it be a Philadelphia Eagle? One of the team’s star defensemen swooped in to help the city promote its tree giveaway program.

Eagle’s defensive end Connor Barwin was on hand Monday to help plant a tree at the home of the winner of the #PhillyTreeTrek social media contest.

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“I enjoy the outdoors and I understand the importance of trees and the importance of trees in cities,” Barwin said. “It was a great idea and a great campaign, and that’s why I wanted to be apart of it.”

Participants were encouraged to follow Philly’s Celebri-Tree, “Bud,” on social media as he explored Philadelphia landmarks before finding a permanent home — and then post to Instagram, Vine, and Twitter about why Bud should be in their yard using the hashtag #PhillyTreeTrek.

(credit: Melony Roy)

(credit: Melony Roy)

Sandi Vincenti of Fishtown entered and won.

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“We sent a couple in. We sent a lot really emphasizing the yard and what were trying to do with environmental ed and getting children involved in nature,” Vincenti said. “We sent one with a little baby praying mantis, so maybe that one, I think, sold it, and then one with my cute son holding one of or certificates for wildlife gardens.”

The tree is a Sweet Bay Magnolia, which is a native to the Philadelphia area. It’s a small flowering tree that is going to have big white fragrant flowers in early summer.

“This was an effort to promote our yard tree giveaway program which actually sold out way quicker than it ever has in the past,” said Meg Holsche, Senior Director of Development Fairmont Park Conservatory, “so it worked out really well.”

TreePhilly is a program created by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Fairmont Park Conservancy.


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