In partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Walmart created Acres for America in 2005. This is a 10-year, $35 million commitment by us to purchase and preserve 1 acre of wildlife habitat in the U.S. for every acre of land we develop. To date, the program has helped conserve nearly 690,000 acres, already well surpassing our original 10-year goal of 138,000 acres.
Acres for America program helps urban areas
In August 2011, we donated $500,000 through the Acres for America program to help protect, conserve and restore fragile urban ecosystems in Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Los Angeles and New York City. It marked the first time Acres for America has helped re-establish critical wildlife habitats in urban areas.
In April 2012, we committed to protect another 300 acres and restore wildlife habitats in the heart of our nation’s cities, including Bridgeport, Conn.; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; San Diego and Washington, D.C.
The 2012 Acres for America urban projects are:
- Pequonnock River Fish Passage (Bridgeport, Conn.): To 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. Partner: Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound
- Eggers Grove Marsh Restoration (Chicago, Ill.): To 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. Partner: The Field Museum/Forest Preserve District of Cook County
- Nyberg Creek Wetland Restoration (Portland, Ore.): To enhance habitat quality of 13 acres in the Nyberg Creek Wetland by restoring native vegetation, which will benefit fish and bird populations in the Tualatin River system. Partner: Wetlands Conservancy
- Otay Delta Habitat Restoration (San Diego, Calif.): 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. Partner: River Partners
Helping rural ecosystems
In January 2012, we turned our attention to the protection and restoration of key rural ecosystems, with the addition of 49,000 acres in five states to the program. Through this effort, we will protect 22,000 acres of rare blue oak habitat in California’s Sierra Foothills, nearly 1,500 acres of tallgrass prairie in Colorado, a key migratory corridor for the endangered Florida panther, natural resources along the Appalachian Trail and more.