In Commerce City, Colo., a small town just outside of Denver, federal and state officials gathered this week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Sand Creek Trail, a project that is helping to conserve and expand the urban Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
Last year, Walmart announced the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Expansion project with Acres for America in Colorado. The project protects 1,334 acres of tallgrass prairie adjacent to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and connects to 70,000 acres of locally protected open space, greatly expanding recreation opportunities in metropolitan Denver.
With this week’s announcement, the federal government is funding $2.2 million to pay for a new trail link in a Denver-area network, and to improve access to Rocky Mountain National Park and Chimney Rock National Monument.
The ceremony, attended by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, was the culmination of several projects aimed at conserving the area for wildlife – projects that include Walmart’s partnership with Acres for America, a 10-year, $35 million commitment that began in 2005 between Walmart and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the U.S. for every acre of land developed by the company through 2015. To date, Acres for America has invested in projects in 24 states, protecting more than 687,000 acres.