Outdoor Life Online Editor

Across America, large, gray boxes have become a fixture of the suburban skyline. The occupants, Wal-Mart. After years of expansion, the superpower retail store is ready to give back. Specifically, the company will be giving land back.

Over the next 10 years, Wal-Mart will spend $35 million to purchase and preserve wildlife habitat around the country. The conservation program is modeled after the “No Net Loss” wetlands policy enacted by the federal government. In other words, the company will preserve 138,000 acres nationwide, which is equal to the land total of all its stores, parking lots and distribution centers.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit group created by Congress to raise money for conservation projects, will manage the funds. Also in the plans is a fundraising drive by the foundation to match Wal-Mart’s $35 million donation.

Five projects will begin receiving funds immediately. They are: The Catahoula NWR in Louisiana, Buffalo National River in Arkansas, North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Squaw Creek in Oregon and the Downeast Lakes Region of Maine.