BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Walmart's Acres for America program is conserving an additional 300 acres of land to protect and restore wildlife habitats in the heart of our nation's cities, including Bridgeport, Chicago, Portland, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. The announcement is part of an ongoing effort to conserve the nation's most precious lands and natural resources to benefit people, wildlife and local economies.
Since 2005, Walmart has worked with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to establish Acres for America, a 10-year, $35 million commitment to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the U.S. for every acre of land developed by the company. The program has protected critical habitats for birds, fish, plants and wildlife and far surpassed its original goals, becoming one of the country's most effective conservation partnerships. To date, Acres for America has invested in projects in 25 states and the District of Columbia, protecting nearly 680,000 acres.
"Walmart is proud to help protect and restore important natural habitats in communities that we serve," says Jennifer May-Brust, Walmart vice president of realty supplier management and compliance. "The Acres for America program exemplifies our commitment to sustainable development as it directly links our land use to land preservation. Our urban restoration projects often times involve volunteers, including our customers and associates, and provide a way for people to connect with and enjoy nature right in their backyard."
In 2011, Walmart expanded its Acres for America investments to include urban conservation projects in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. The awards announced today will support additional projects in Bridgeport, Chicago, Portland, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.
"Protecting and restoring streams, woodlands and other natural places in our urban areas is a vital part of the Acres for America mission," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "Walmart's support of these projects directly benefits areas that are home to both wildlife and people, and makes our cities more livable for everyone."
The 2012 Acres for America urban projects are:
Pequonnock River Fish Passage, Bridgeport, Conn.
Partner: Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound
This project in the heart of Bridgeport will install a fish ladder in the Pequonnock River, providing safe passage for river herring, trout, sunfish, eel and perch through a highly urbanized area. It will mitigate the damaging effects of a highway construction project that paved a part of the stream channel.
Eggers Grove Marsh Restoration, Chicago, Ill.
Partner: The Field Museum/Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Volunteers will remove invasive species, sow native plant seeds and maintain trails in Eggers Grove, a 205-acre preserve on the Illinois-Indiana border. The marsh and woodland along Lake Michigan is a rare example of the region's natural ecosystem and is an important habitat for migratory and nesting birds.
Nyberg Creek Wetland Restoration, Portland, Ore.
Partner: Wetlands Conservancy
The Nyberg Creek Wetland lies along I-5, the major transportation corridor in Oregon. This 13-acre project will involve community volunteers in enhancing habitat quality in the wetland by restoring native vegetation, which will benefit fish and bird populations in the Tualatin River system.
Otay Delta Habitat Restoration, San Diego, Calif.
Partner: River Partners
Located near several trail systems and the Bayshore Bikeway, this project focuses on 65 acres where the Otay River meets San Diego Bay. Community, state, federal and local agencies will collaborate on a restoration of the area that will benefit local residents and four endangered species of birds.
In addition to these four projects, Walmart will award an additional grant to support the Anacostia River Revitalization Fund in Washington, D.C. The Fund supports projects that improve water quality, benefit public health and local economic development, and provide outdoor recreation and volunteer opportunities in the nation's capital. Partners include the Washington, D.C. Department of the Environment and federal agencies.
States with lands protected or restored under the Acres for America program include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, in addition to the District of Columbia. When complete, the Acres for America program is expected to be one of the largest public-private partnerships in the U.S., and the first time a company has directly tied its land-use footprint to land conservation.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at 10,130 retail units under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of $444 billion, Walmart employs about 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
Established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) sustains, restores and enhances the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, it has awarded over 11,600 grants to more than 4,000 organizations and leveraged $576 million in federal funds into $2.1 billion for on-the-ground conservation. To learn more, visit www.nfwf.org.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.