Rainforest Trust reaches $50 million challenge, preserves over 25 million acres

Virginia

The Rainforest Trust has preserved over 25 million acres.

WARRENTON, Va. (WDVM) — A non-profit conservationist organization in Northern Virginia was challenged with a $50 million matching grant to be completed by the end of 2020 — and they succeeded.

Rainforest Trust was tasked with the match challenge back in 2015, after an anonymous conservation support contacted the organization.

In total, the organization has protected 25.6 million acres of wildlife, spanning across the globe to places such as Ecuador, Nepal, and Peru.

While COVID-19 created hardships for the organization to complete the challenge, they say that it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and donations of citizens.

Leslie VanSant, Chief Philanthropy Officer, says that people became more focused on the environment when the virus emerged.

“People have really sort of been focused on the environment,” said VanSant. “Once we get too close to nature, once we encroach upon areas that should remain wild, that gives the virus the opportunity to cross over.”

Rainforest Trust is also working to save endangered species across the world.

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