MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Phillips 66 announced a partnership to enhance Horseshoe Lake State Park, an urban oasis vital to outdoors enthusiasts and a diversity of wildlife.

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Ducks Unlimited will use a $200,000 commitment from Phillips 66, a longtime DU supporter, to enhance and restore up to 250 acres of wetland habitat. The 3,000-acre state park is in Madison County and is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It encompasses Horseshoe Lake, a remnant Mississippi River oxbow and the second largest natural lake in Illinois.

“We are excited to partner with Ducks Unlimited to keep Horseshoe Lake a gem for people, animals and birds,” said Melissa Erker, director of government and community affairs at the Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery. “We invest in our natural resources because we respect and value their role in our daily lives.”

The state park is near St. Louis and is crucial to residents of both Illinois and Missouri. It supports recreational activities such as boating, hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and bird watching. The park is also connected to Madison County’s Transit’s School House Trail, which connects more than 85 miles of bike trails in Madison County to downtown St. Louis.

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“The Illinois DNR and Horseshoe Lake State Park are appreciative of Ducks Unlimited and Phillips 66 supporting waterfowl conservation at this site,” said Mike Mason, IDNR regional land manager. “We are eager to see the good things we will accomplish with this commitment.”

DU and Illinois DNR staff have identified several project sites in need of restoration or enhancement to benefit waterfowl and other wildlife. Conservation work will range from improving existing wetland habitat to restoring former agriculture fields back to marsh habitat.

With Phillips 66’s support, DU will begin restoration and enhancement projects this year with survey, design and engineering work. Projects are expected to be complete in 2020.

“Horseshoe Lake State Park is in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, an area which can hold more than 2,000,000 ducks and geese during fall migration,” said Michael Sertle, DU regional biologist in Illinois. “It is also a critically important migration habitat for more than 250 species of waterfowl, wading birds and songbirds.”

This commitment from Phillips 66 supports Ducks Unlimited’s Big Rivers Initiative in Illinois, a state which has lost 85 percent of its historical wetlands to human development. With support from donors and corporations like Phillips 66, Ducks Unlimited has protected, enhanced or restored more than 50,000 wetland acres in Illinois.

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