The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced a major investment by FedEx Corp. and its operating companies to provide  support to America's urban ecosystems.

“When people think of cities, they usually don't think of fish and wildlife,” said Jeff Trandahl, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's executive director, “but they're there, sometimes in very large numbers, and their health makes a big difference in the quality of residents' lives. FedEx and the Foundation both specialize in promptly delivering results, making this not only a natural alliance, but one that surely will improve conditions for fish, wildlife and people.”

Working through a variety of programs administered by the Foundation, FedEx will provide funding on a competitive basis to projects that improve environmental quality in 12 urban communities over the next two years. Key to this initiative is the engagement of FedEx team members, who will work with grant recipients as volunteers, helping advance conservation projects in their local communities.

In 2010, FedEx volunteers will conduct projects in Los Angeles, Memphis, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. In 2011, projects will be added in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle. Individual grants for projects in each city will be between $25,000 and $50,000.

“At FedEx, we are committed to connecting the world in responsible and resourceful ways both in how we do business and how we serve our communities,” said Rose Jackson Flenorl, Manager of Global Citizenship at FedEx. “The launch of our collaboration with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is an example of this commitment and will engage our greatest asset – our team members – in this vital work.”

The first round of projects funded by FedEx will be executed in April 2010. Funding applications are now open for conservation projects in 12 U.S. cities in 2011.