Walmart pledges one acre of conservation land for every acre of land developed
Walmart joined with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation(NFWF) in 2005 to create the Acres for America program— a pledge to protect one acre of conservation land for every acre occupied by Walmart’s U.S. facilities to conserve wild lands and wildlife habitat for future generations.
The original goal for Walmart’s 10-year, $35-million commitment was to help protect one acre for every acre occupied by all of its existing facilities and those planned for construction through 2015—estimated at 138,000 acres. Through the Acres for America program, Walmart has helped permanently conserve land in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon. Acres projects connect existing lands to protect migration routes, provide access for people to enjoy the outdoors and help ensure the future of rural economies that depend on forestry, tourism and recreation. To date, Acres for America has invested in projects in 24 states, protecting more than 687,000 acres far exceeding the program’s original 10-year goal of 138,000 acres.
NFWF manages a semi-annual, competitive process for selecting projects to be funded through the Acres for America program. This Acres for America grant conserves important habitat for fish and wildlife, helps sustain rural economies such as sustainable forestry, preserves valuable water resources, and protects outstanding scenic resources supporting more than 3,000 jobs. Since the inception of Acres for America in 2005, Walmart has helped connect more than 6.7 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. Following the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, Walmart made a $2.25 million commitment to the Foundation to support projects for wildlife affected by the oil spill. Walmart’s 2012 Acres for America program is helping conserve more than 49,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat across the United States.
Walmart and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are working to encourage other companies to join the Acres for America program, so that even more land can be conserved for future generations. Through this powerful partnership, the Foundation also leverages Walmart’s funds with public and private contributions from other donors—many of whom match their commitment two acres-for-one, or even three-acres-for-one.