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MLB, Boys & Girls Clubs pitch in for Earth Day

MLB.com @ladsonbill24

NEW YORK -- Earth Day is Sunday, but about 20 employees from Major League Baseball received an early start on Saturday. MLB partnered with its official charity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to enhance the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria, N.Y.

The volunteers worked on revitalizing the club, which included planting flowers and food such as spinach and kiwi. They also enhanced the club's media room by painting objects on the wall in the basement. Scotts Miracle-Gro, the official lawn and garden company of MLB, donated materials to support the landscaping project.

NEW YORK -- Earth Day is Sunday, but about 20 employees from Major League Baseball received an early start on Saturday. MLB partnered with its official charity, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to enhance the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria, N.Y.

The volunteers worked on revitalizing the club, which included planting flowers and food such as spinach and kiwi. They also enhanced the club's media room by painting objects on the wall in the basement. Scotts Miracle-Gro, the official lawn and garden company of MLB, donated materials to support the landscaping project.

Alexander Brown, the director of the Boys & Girls Club in Astoria, said it was incredible to get MLB employees to volunteer their services to the organization.

"The volunteers are excited to be doing something different and uplifting because it's going to be seen," Brown said. "Once we do our videos and put them on social media, the volunteers will be able to look back and see what they were able to contribute."

It's not surprising to Thomas Brasuell, vice president of community affairs for MLB, to see MLB employees volunteer their services at the Boys & Girls Club.

"We have a number of employees from our central office, our office in Secaucus, [N.J.], the MLB offices downtown," Brasuell said. "Every time we volunteer -- whether it's setting up supplies for hurricane victims, stuffing food packages for people who are in need of food across the world, fixing the [Boys & Girls] club, fixing a park -- our employees always step up and [are] always giving back."

MLB was the first professional sports league to have all of its clubs as members of the Green Sports Alliance, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities in sports. MLB clubs diverted more than 20,000 tons of recycled or composted waste during the 2017 season. Each year, MLB awards the eco-friendliest club with its "Green Glove Award," with the Mariners winning for the first time last year.

MLB clubs also emphasize sustainability efforts through waste diversion, composting and energy-efficient practices throughout the season. Efforts include comprehensive LED field lighting, recycling efforts, on-site gardens, conscious usage of water and electricity and more.

By the end of 2018, 15 clubs, including the Astros, Yankees and Giants, will have installed LED field lighting. In addition to enhancing the fan experience, LED fixtures are more energy-efficient and have a lifespan of 30 years.

In 2017, the Mariners led the league in recycling practices, with 96 percent of waste at Safeco Field being diverted from landfills. Similarly, the Giants divert 93 percent of all waste at AT&T Park.

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.