MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ring Container Technologies in Oakland has structured a $500,000 Challenge Grant with the Wolf River Conservancy. The purpose is to help purchase and preserve pristine wetlands bordering Shelby and Fayette counties with additional funds raised to support the organization’s mission of conservation.
The major announcement was made at the Wolf River Conservancy’s annual fundraising event, the Greenway Soiree, held recently at Opera Memphis.
The immediate goal of the Challenge Grant is to raise $150,000 in funds, which will be matched by Ring Container Technologies to purchase a 215-acre tract of land in eastern Shelby County and western Fayette County. This will protect a 4,000-acre area of contiguous preserved wetlands.
“No other company in the state of Tennessee has made this level of investment into land conservation and preservation,” said Keith Cole, executive director of the Wolf River Conservancy. “We’re incredibly grateful to Ring Container Tech-nologies for this generous and important donation.”
Ring Container Technologies is a major plastic bottle supplier with 17 highly automated, highly efficient manufacturing facilities across the United States, Canada and the U.K.
The company also has three distribution centers and a corporate headquarters and research facility in Oakland. Company-wide, it employs about 650 with 2015 projected sales of nearly $370 million.
“As a company we have an incredibly strong focus on sustainability and because the Wolf River flows near our headquarters and the homes of many of our team members, this partnership made complete sense,” said Ben Livingston, president. “Our wetlands and watershed are amazing assets for the Memphis region and protecting them should be a top priority.”
Wolf River is a multi-faceted resource providing drinking water benefits, wildlife habitat, recreation, and historical and cultural connections throughout the region. The Conservancy has historically focused on saving the 100-year floodplain from being developed or converted to non-natural and destructive land uses, such as sand and gravel mines.
This focus has helped the Conservancy protect some 15,000 acres over the past 30 years.
The Wolf River serves the Memphis region in the areas of flood/erosion control, water quality, wildlife habitat and low-impact recreation.