With $3.1 Million in New Grants, Walmart’s Acres for America Program Surpasses Milestone of 2 Million Acres Conserved

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Six new investments will protect natural resources, improve recreational opportunities and improve landscape connectivity to benefit wildlife.

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With $3.1 million in new funding announced today, Walmart’s Acres for America Conservation program has passed an important milestone in helping to permanently protect more than 2 million acres of wildlife. in the United States since its inception in 2005.

Six conservation projects announced today by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will permanently protect more than 200,000 acres of important wildlife habitat in the U.S. The Acres for America grants will raise $133.4 million in matching contributions from donors and partners to create a total defense force of $136.5 million.

“With this grant, Walmart’s Acres for America program has reached a milestone in supporting the conservation of more than 2 million acres, helping to protect and restore the environment in the many areas where Walmart operates across the country,” said Hunter Hart. Vice President, Realty, Walmart US “NFWF and our community conservation partners have helped make this program an important part of protecting important places over the past 18 years.”

“This year is the most successful in the history of NFWF’s partnership with Walmart through the Acres for America program,” said Jeff Trandahl, NFWF president and CEO. “Together, we’ve helped preserve more than 2 million acres of critical habitat across the country, enabling wildlife connectivity and better access to the outdoors for millions of people, now and for generations to come.”

The most recent awards, the 18th year of funding through the Acres for America program, support projects selected based on their ability to permanently protect wildlife habitats of national importance, while benefiting communities and local economies. These projects demonstrate strong environmental protection partnerships between private donors and the public sector. Highlights of this year’s slate include:

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  • The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, will protect and manage 54,556 acres in eastern Kentucky for public enjoyment, sustainable forests, drinking water protection, and wildlife habitat. and consolidating 274,000 acres of national parks. through neighboring Tennessee. The land is home to Kentucky’s growing cattle and will provide important habitat for birds including the waterfowl and the endangered species of waterfowl found in the many streams that cross the property. All areas will be open for public use and enjoyment. This award is the first Acres for America project in Kentucky.

  • The Conservation Fund will protect critical habitat for a variety of endangered species, including the black bear, the red-headed bear, and the northern long-eared bat in Georgia. The project focuses on acquiring the 2,037-acre Amicalola Tract and the 763-acre Nimblewill Tract to be added to Amicalola Falls State Park and Chattahoochee National Forest, respectively, and opened to public access. The forested area is considered a designated area on the southern Appalachian Trail and will be opened to the public, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities in northern Georgia, including Atlanta.

  • The Save the Redwoods League works to protect California’s largest redwood forests and benefit the growing landscape with natural connectivity for wildlife, clean water, and fire risk reduction. The project will place 3,862 acres under protected land and connect 11,500 acres of protected land.

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“The Cumberland Forest land acquisition project will create Kentucky’s largest wildlife conservation area, providing 54,000 acres for current and future generations to enjoy and preserve in perpetuity important wildlife habitat,” said Kentucky Commissioner Rich Storm. Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We are delighted to learn of the ‘Acres for America’ grant to help make this exciting project a reality. We are grateful to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and all of our partners, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, “. The Kentucky General Assembly and the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, both providing critical funding and in-kind support. “

“This effort will triple the size of Amicalola Falls State Park, one of Georgia’s most popular attractions,” said Steve Friedman, Chief of Real Estate at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “If it wasn’t for our partnership with The Conservation Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and others, this country would be lost.”

“Northern Georgia is one of the most biodiverse regions in the country, yet it faces significant threats from development, deforestation and habitat loss every day,” said Larry Selzer, President and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “The proper expansion of this park is very important. Not only does it protect additional recreational opportunities for the community and wildlife habitat, but it also provides greater connectivity to other important areas of the region such as the Oconee-Chattahoochee National Forest and the Appalachian Trail. We are grateful for this great support from to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through Walmart’s Acres for America Program.

“Save the Redwoods League is grateful for the support from Walmart’s Acres for America through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the purchase of the Weger Ranch in the redwood forests of California,” said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save. and the Redwoods League. “This is an important part of our grand vision to protect 11,500 acres of redwood land.”

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Acres for America began in 2005 when Walmart made an initial 10-year, $35 million commitment to purchase and preserve wildlife habitat in the United States for every acre the company produces. Walmart exceeded that commitment and renewed the program for another 10 years in 2015. The program now has a combined impact of helping to protect more than 2 million acres across 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Over the past 18 years, Acres for America has supported more than 112 projects and has contributed $60 million in Walmart and matching grants that have resulted in more than $1 billion in security. Learn more about Walmart’s mission, along with the Walmart Foundation, to protect, care for, or restore the environment here.

Learn more about the Acres for America program here, and more about the grants announced today here. A short video about Acres for America can also be viewed here.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, state and private partners, NFWF has supported more than 6,000 organizations and generated $7.4 billion in funding. Find out more at www.nfwf.org.

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CONTACT: Rob Blumenthal National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (202) 857-0166 [email protected]

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