Walmart helps to revitalize urban wildlife habitats

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 92 views 

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.

Walmart’s efforts date back to 2005, according a company release Friday (April 27). The company said it 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

Also in the news this week was a report from Bloomberg, that cites in 2009 the Mexican government re-zoned “forested land” in Playa del Carmen, a beach resort in the east of the country, to allow Wal-Mart to build a supermarket. Bloomberg credited a Mexico City-based newspaper El Universal Catera as the source.