Acres for America is one of the most effective public-private partnerships in the history of U.S. conservation. In 2005, NFWF and Walmart teamed up to establish the Acres for America program to conserve lands of national significance, protect critical fish and wildlife habitat and benefit people and local economies.
Acres for America priorities include:
- Providing access for people to enjoy the outdoors;
- Conserving critical habitats for birds, fish, plants and wildlife;
- Connecting existing protected lands to unify wild places and protect migration routes; and,
- Ensuring the future of rural economies that depend on forestry, ranching and recreation.
The program has far surpassed its original goals. Walmart’s commitment aimed to permanently conserve at least one acre of priority wildlife habitat for every developed acre of Walmart Stores’ current and future footprint—an expected total of 138,000 acres—but has exceeded that target.
The Acres for America program has already achieved more than six times its ambitious conservation goal. Since its inception, the program has:
- NFWF has partnered with others to permanently conserve more than 850,000 acres (equal to the size of Yosemite National Park) and connect more than 8.2 million protected acres (an area larger than Maryland and Delaware combined);
- Provided nearly $4 million in emergency response funding to protect fish and wildlife that were immediately threatened by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012;
- Restored urban waters and connected youth to the outdoors by investing more than $1 million in community-based projects located in Washington, D.C.; New York City, NY; Bridgeport, CT; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; and Los Angeles, CA;
- Funded 55 projects in 32 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico;
- Awarded $27 million, which has leveraged $323 million from other public and private sources for a total conservation impact of $350 million.