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Bears to pay it forward to Chicago parks

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As the home team in the kickoff to the NFL’s 100th season, the Bears will pay homage to the history of the league.

Two days later, they will pay homage to the history of Chicago.

All year, NFL teams have organized “huddles” or team-driven service projects. On September 7, the team will hold the Bears Huddle for 100 volunteer initiative. The team has decided to honor one of Chicago’s defining characteristics: its parks.

With a city motto of “hortus in urbe” or “city in a garden,” the city has long placed pride in the over 100 parks that dot the urban expanse. The Bears have partnered with the Chicago Parks Foundation to ask fans to donate 100 minutes of their Saturday to help clean up one of the 14 participating parks from every corner of the city, north, west and south side. For a full list, go to chicagobears.com/bearshuddlefor100.

“We are so proud to partner with the Chicago Bears and connect our communities to their parks,” said Willa Iglitzen Lang, executive director of the Chicago Parks Foundation. “Our goal is to help park lovers and users become givers and stewards and this Huddle for 100 is the perfect opportunity to kick this off! The Chicago Bears and Bears Care have been a steadfast and generous supporter of Junior Bears programs in parks across the city. Their commitment continues with this unique event!”

The first 1,000 participants to register and show up will receive a free Bears t-shirt. Volunteers are encouraged to share their experience on social media using #BearsHuddlefor100.

Park districts and community organizations who would like to participate can email bearshuddlefor100@bears.nfl.net for more information.

And the opportunity to serve doesn’t stop there. Youth or high school football teams who are looking to make a difference in their communities can email the same address for a chance to receive a $500 donation to kickstart their project.

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