BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on its heritage of environmental innovation in homebuilding, the PulteGroup Land Legacy Fund, working in partnership with The Conservation Fund, announces that 2,500 acres of critical East Texas forest have been acquired and conserved. The land will eventually be conveyed to the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. The parcel, part of a property known as Bobcat Ridge, is intended to become part of the new Neches River National Wildlife Refuge. The PulteGroup Land Legacy Fund was initially established by Centex Corporation in 2005, but renamed in 2009 following the merger of Centex and Pulte Homes, Inc.
"Whether you're from the wilds of East Texas or the suburbs of Atlanta, forests are a vital part of our infrastructure and well-being," said Evan Smith, vice president, forestland acquisition at The Conservation Fund. "If we're going to protect America's forests, we need corporate leaders, such as PulteGroup, to step-up and support our work. We thank them for their ongoing commitment."
Home to the bobcat and the near-threatened Red-headed Woodpecker, the piece of Bobcat Ridge is a significant addition to the new refuge, currently just 35 acres. This latest acquisition brings the total land conserved by the PulteGroup Land Legacy Fund to more than 15 projects, totaling 73,000 acres across 14 states. The Legacy Fund has achieved dramatic results for wetlands, forests and waterways in areas such as the Mid-Atlantic, the Carolinas, Washington, California and Texas.
"As a leader of eco-innovation in the construction of new homes, PulteGroup recognizes the importance of being a good steward of our country's natural resources and we're committed to social and environmental responsibility, which includes land conservation," said Richard Dugas, PulteGroup CEO and chairman. "We're pleased to play a role in protecting such an important piece of our country's environment."
The Neches River Wildlife Refuge is home to one of East Texas' last wild rivers and the heart of multiple state parks and wildlife management areas. The Neches refuge is also home to the threatened American Alligator and is a favored layover location on the North American Central Flyway, which is the major "highway" for migrating ducks and songbirds. These birds visit the refuge for rest and rejuvenation during their long treks.
The PulteGroup Land Legacy Fund is a fixed amount of capital managed by The Conservation Fund. This revolving fund is applied as critical bridge financing for preservation projects. Once a project is complete and the land conveyed, the capital is returned to the PulteGroup Land Legacy Fund to be used again.
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is America's largest home building company by revenue with operations in about 60 markets. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex for first-time buyers, Pulte Homes for expanding families and Del Webb for active adults 55+, the company is one of the industry's most versatile players able to meet the needs of multiple buyer segments in response to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup conducts extensive research to provide home buyers with innovative solutions and new homes designed for the way people actually live today. As the most awarded home builder in customer satisfaction, PulteGroup brands have consistently ranked among top home builders in third-party customer satisfaction studies. For more information about PulteGroup, Inc. and PulteGroup brands, see www.pultegroup.com; www.pulte.com; www.centex.com; www.delwebb.com
SOURCE PulteGroup, Inc.