April 24, 2015|By | Partnerships
At the southeastern tip of Texas the 97,000-acre Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of the two remaining ocelot populations in the nation, making it the center for conservation and recovery efforts for these endangered cats. A haven of biodiversity, the complex safeguards more than 17 federally threatened, endangered and migratory species including ocelot and aplomado falcon.  It is estimated that 95% of the native vegetation here has been impacted by agricultural and development.
That is why The Conservation Fund is working to restore these lands and this important habitat with an initiative that will put 25,000 Tamaulipan thorn scrub seedlings in the ground, creating critical future wildlife corridors through the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

To celebrate Arbor Day, Freshpet is donating to The Conservation Fund to support the planting of 4,000 seedlings at Laguna Atascosa NWR – enough to restore four acres within priority areas for ocelot corridors.

According to the US FWS over 20 years these seedlings will sequester an estimated 700 tonnes over 40 years.   This is similar to the emissions from 1.6 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle. But this restoration is not only cleaning the air and proving habitat. Donations here will go a long way for this local community’s economy in addition to providing community recreation lands for hiking, bird watching, and other outdoor activities.

Support from Freshpet adds to its existing sustainable efforts, including a commitment to powering 100% of the Freshpet Kitchens with renewable wind energy, sustainable transportation services, and donating pet food and ingredients to charitable organizations, shelters and rescues. By joining The Conservation Fund for Arbor Day 2015, Freshpet adds yet another environmental initiative that provides clean air, benefiting pets, people, and the planet.

"Laguna Atascosa is one of the most strikingly beautiful places in the world," said Jena Thompson Meredith, director of business partnerships at The Conservation Fund. "It's also one of the most in need of restoration. Support from Freshpet to help restore Laguna's native scrub forests comes at a critical time for the Rio Grande Valley and for Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. We hope Freshpet's leadership inspires others to join us to reforest this magnificent natural landscape for ocelot and key species that need our help."

Supporting The Conservation Fund addresses climate change and habitat loss by planting trees and protecting forests from California’s redwood region to the Gulf Coast.  Each donation makes a real and lasting difference—cleaning the air we breathe, filtering the water we drink, creating new habitat for wildlife and strengthening the economies of the communities that depend on healthy forests to thrive.