$100 million gift to boost conservation in prairie region

Jim Kennedy, left, and Adam Putnam at the announcement. (Courtesy photo.)

Ducks Unlimited announced that longtime corporate partner Cox Enterprises is establishing a fund to support conservation in honor of Jim Kennedy, chairman emeritus of Cox Enterprises and chairman of the James M. Cox Foundation.

The $100 million gift from the newly established fund will go directly toward Ducks Unlimited’s land trust, Wetlands America Trust, to help conserve North America’s prairie region.

The prairies are a lush and productive ecosystem of wetlands and grasslands and a critical breeding ground for millions of ducks and geese. Conservation of these grounds helps hundreds of plant and animal species and improves the quality of life for people by increasing water quality and availability.

“It has always been important to me to leave the world better than I found it, and I was so honored when Alex proposed the idea of creating this fund,” Kennedy said. “Ducks Unlimited and Wetlands America Trust are great partners to conserve and restore our prairies for future generations.”

Kennedy has been a volunteer with Ducks Unlimited for over 50 years, has served on its board of directors and was Wetlands America Trust’s founding president. Kennedy, the Foundation, and other Cox-related sources have donated nearly $100 million to Ducks Unlimited to date. Jim Kennedy was recently awarded the Ducks Unlimited Conservation Achievement Award for accomplishments that have made exceptional contributions to conservation in North America.

“Jim’s passion for wildlife and wetland conservation is one of his many legacies. It is important to me, our family, and our company that Jim be recognized for his dedication to the environment,” said Alex Taylor, chairman and CEO of Cox Enterprises. “We thought there was no better way to honor him than by creating a fund committed to serving an organization and cause so near to his heart.”

“Jim Kennedy has always been an amazing partner in conservation. Cox and Ducks Unlimited have come together to support critical conservation efforts across North America. With the support from this newly established fund, Ducks Unlimited and Wetlands America Trust can accelerate this significant work to conserve this essential landscape,” said Adam Putnam, CEO of Ducks Unlimited.

Kennedy and Putnam are pictured above in the courtesy photo.