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Wal-Mart Associates support Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
Midwest Region, October 13, 2009
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Wal-Mart Associates team up to plant prairie cord grass plants on the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
- USFWS photo
Wal-Mart Associates team up to plant prairie cord grass plants on the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

- USFWS photo

- Photo Credit: n/a
Big Muddy Refuge Wildlife Refuge Specialist Barbara Moran demonstrates how to plant prairie cord grass.
- USFWS photo 
Big Muddy Refuge Wildlife Refuge Specialist Barbara Moran demonstrates how to plant prairie cord grass.

- USFWS photo 

- Photo Credit: n/a

The Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge celebrated National Wildlife Refuge Week with 85 Wal-Mart Associates at the refuges Baltimore Bottom Unit near Waverly, Missouri.  The celebration accomplished a huge task for the refuge as the Associates planted 4,300 prairie cord grass plants (Spartina pectinata) on a portion of the Missouri River floodplain.  Prairie cord grass forms a sod and has a deep root system that historically covered portions of the wet prairie found on the floodplain.  It provides good cover and food for wildlife.   

 

Grown in gallon pots at Forrest Keeling Nursery the cord grasses were transported across the state and unloaded on the refuge the day before the planting. Missouri River Relief provided assistance to refuge staff unloading the pots.  Missouri River Relief is a grassroots, volunteer and equipment-based organization dedicated to reconnecting people to the Missouri River through hands-on river clean-ups and education events. 

An overcast cool day on October 13th supported the hard work of planting the cord grass. Wal-Mart Associates arrived at 8:00 am.  Wal-Mart Supervisors conducted a short rally.  Wildlife Refuge Specialist, Barbara Moran demonstrated where and how to plant the prairie grass.  Then the crews began work.    

 

The Wal-Mart Associates distributed the work load among themselves.  They hauled the pots to planting locations, dug the holes, cut open the pots, and finally planted the cord grass.  This method proved effective as the 4,300 cord grass plants were successfully planted by 12:30 pm,  just in time for lunch.  Wal-Mart Associates prepared a lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies and drinks for all involved in the celebration. 

  

The partnership between the refuge and Wal-Mart employees began in 2007.  Steve Dowler,  Market 3 Technician approached the refuge about a trash cleanup on the refuge at Baltimore Bottom.  He noticed all the trash on a hunting trip to the area with other Wal-Mart Associates.  Steve organized a clean-up in April 2008 removing 8 tons of trash from the area.  Since then over 250 Wal-Mart Associates have planted trees, praire cord grass, and removed trash officially adopting the Baltimore Bottom Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. 

 

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge encompass over 11,000 acres of public land in eight separate units in the Missouri River floodplain between Kansas City and St. Louis.

 


Contact Info: Tim Haller, 573-441-2799, tim_haller@fws.gov



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