March 26, 2008 - New York, NY - The National Audubon Society and Toyota today launched TogetherGreen, a nationwide Audubon program to fund conservation projects, train environmental leaders, and offer volunteer opportunities to significantly benefit the environment.
A $20 million Toyota grant—the largest Audubon has received in its 103-year history—will fund TogetherGreen for five years, enabling Audubon to expand the scope and reach of its internationally-known conservation programs.
TogetherGreen will include three program components:
- Innovation Grants to fund dozens of on-the-ground projects each year that employ creative approaches and engage diverse communities to help achieve measurable land, water and/or energy conservation results. Grant requirements will broaden project participation and promote innovation by uniting Audubon’s national network with environmental and community partners.
- Conservation Fellowships to train and foster up to 200 promising environmental leaders who can serve as role models, expert guides and organizers for engaging new and diverse audiences in effective conservation action.
- Volunteer Days to be offered at Audubon Centers and other locations nationwide, providing hands-on opportunities to address environmental problems and take part in restoration activities.
"TogetherGreen is about giving people the knowledge, the support and the opportunities they need to truly make a difference," said Audubon President John Flicker. "We will engage people of all ages, from every community and all walks of life to help shape a healthier future."
"Audubon has a long and successful history of encouraging conservation of our natural ecosystems, and we are proud to develop this initiative with them," said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of Toyota Motor North America. "Toyota believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results, and TogetherGreen fits perfectly with that philosophy."
Toyota plans to engage its 36,000 U.S. employees and invite its business partners to join with others through TogetherGreen as conservation volunteers to take the individual steps that will add up to significant conservation results.
"Toyota employees have already been energized by participation in volunteer activities at Audubon’s Mitchell Lake Center in San Antonio, Texas," said Pineda. "We’re excited by the promise of more opportunities for them to be involved in hands-on conservation efforts." Toyota is a long-time supporter of Audubon Centers that deliver nature experiences, conservation education and action opportunities to previously underserved groups in urban communities.
TogetherGreen will also reach a diverse array of audiences through TogetherGreen.org, scheduled to debut later this spring. The site will help visitors discover dozens of individual conservation actions to help them independently "green" their lives. It will provide opportunities to challenge friends to take conservation actions of their own. Visitors will be able to follow the evolving conservation efforts and achievements of TogetherGreen projects, and nominate and celebrate the work of environmental heroes and projects across the country. Every aspect of TogetherGreen.org will be designed to highlight and encourage conservation action.
"The stakes for the future of our environment are tremendous and Toyota and Audubon share a commitment to inspire and empower Americans to make a positive difference." adds Flicker. "With our two organizations working together, we plan to see true and measurable results from TogetherGreen."
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, with another under construction in Mississippi. Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Through its corporate initiatives, manufacturing operations and philanthropy, Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. In 2007, Toyota contributed more than $56 million on philanthropy in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/community.
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