Al Ortiz, Corporate Communications
August 7, 2023
In the middle of Billings, at Montana’s only zoo, Phillips 66 is demonstrating its commitment not only to giving back, but also to biodiversity.
The company recently teamed up with long-time partner Ducks Unlimited to provide a $300,000 gift to help construct ZooMontana’s new Foster Waterfowl Refuge. The project officially opened in July, adding another milestone in Phillips 66’s support for natural habitats.
Chief among these: wetlands, complex biological super systems because of the volume of species they support.
“The habitat is not only an urban escape for migrating waterfowl, but also a natural way to educate zoo visitors on the importance of wetland conservation,” said Phillips 66 Social Impact Manager Courtney Meadows. “Our work with Ducks Unlimited, ZooMontana and many other like-minded organizations has been a cornerstone in our company’s environmental stewardship efforts.”
Located at the center of the zoo, the new refuge offers an immersive experience for guests that includes a raised observation deck, underwater fish viewing and boardwalks for easy navigation.
“Because of Phillips 66’s support of our education program, we are able to reach and educate around 18,000 students per year,” said Jeff Ewelt, Executive Director for ZooMontana. “They and Ducks Unlimited have truly transformed our journey and have made an impact on wildlife across the world.”
Over the past decade, Phillips 66 and Ducks Unlimited have joined forces on more than 30 projects across the country, contributing approximately $4 million towards conservation efforts. This has helped preserve or restore more than 35,000 acres of wetland in the U.S.
Phillips 66’s work in protecting wildlife and ecosystems in and around its communities has also yielded multiple projects with other national conservation organizations. Among them: the East Matagorda Bay Wetlands Project, Tri-State Bird and Rescue and Research and the Coastal Conservation Association.
In its 2023 Sustainability Report, the company announced it had enhanced around 3,000 acres of estuaries and habitats in 2022 alone.
“The Waterfowl Refuge truly beautifies the zoo and is just one of many projects that has included support from Phillips 66,” said Ewelt. “We are grateful for their partnership because protecting natural resources is clearly a top priority for their organization and employees.”