Grant recipients are: The Nature Conservancy ($17,500), Bluegrass Conservancy ($10,000), Kentucky Habitat for Humanity ($15,000), Louisville Zoo ($30,000) and Kentucky Division of Forestry ($15,000).
On the same morning, in connection with National Environmental Education Week (April 10-26) and the plant’s 25th anniversary, TMMK brought 120 second graders from Georgetown’s Eastern Elementary School to its Environmental Education Center for the third annual Toyota Environmental Field Day program. The program comprises TMMK-created KERA based curriculum, as well as field day transportation, lunches, T-shirts and on-site activities.
“American manufacturing in general accounts for a considerable share of the nation’s energy consumption and our facilities in particular have an impact on our surroundings, so we believe Toyota has a responsibility to support organizations that help improve the environment for our team members, our customers and our neighbors,” said Wil James, TMMK president. “The grants we announced today are focused largely on extending educational outreach and improving environmental literacy to ensure better protection for our surrounding environment well into the future.”
Toyota employs about 6,800 team members at its Georgetown manufacturing plant; another 1,800 work at its North American manufacturing headquarters operation in Erlanger. Team members commute from 39 counties.
Since 1987, TMMK has given more than $40 million to a variety of organizations across Kentucky.
“Bluegrass Conservancy preserves the endangered Inner Bluegrass Region through the use of conservation easements for agricultural viability, natural habitat, rural heritage, and scenic open space,” said Mackenzie Victoria Royce, executive director. “We treasure TMMK’s generous support, which has helped our private, nonprofit land trust permanently protect 11,279 acres for future generations, including more than 3,200 acres within the last two years.”
The grants distributed by Toyota this morning will be used by the organizations for the following programs:
Bluegrass Conservancy - For the second year, TMMK funding will support this organization’s Conservation Easement Program in the effort to permanently preserve the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky by conserving acreage for agriculture and open-space activities.
The Nature Conservancy - The Toyota grant helps fund the “Think Global Act Local Volunteer Program,” designed to generate, educate, mobilize and sustain an active volunteer group to support 45 nature preserves in the Commonwealth, including Sally Brown Nature Preserve (Garrard County), Crutcher Nature Preserve (Garrard County) and Jim Beam Nature Preserve (Jessamine County). Toyota has supported The Nature Conservancy since 1990.
Kentucky Habitat for Humanity -Toyota funding will help educate Habitat staff, communities in 57 counties and Habitat partner families on the benefits of green building, as part of the organization’s Green Initiative. Kentucky Habitat for Humanity launched the statewide initiative in 2011 with the goal of incorporating green building techniques (Energy Star, LEED, Passive House) into all Habitat for Humanity homes.
Louisville Zoo - For the eighth year, TMMK is sponsoring the Backyard Action Hero Program, designed to help elementary and middle-school age youth learn about wildlife and their habitats and help prepare the students to take action to help protect them, both in their own backyard and in other parts of the world. The program distributes more than 300,000 copies of a guidebook funded by TMMK and filled with fun facts and activities kids can do with family and friends. The 2010-2011 focus is “Protecting Bears.”
Kentucky Division of Forestry - Toyota funds will help the Division purchase equipment and tools to protect hemlock trees from the Woolly Adelgid, an aphid-like insect that threatens Hemlock forests in a 19-county area in southeastern Kentucky. A $50,000 grant in 2008 from TMMK enabled more than 20,000 hemlocks to be treated and funded the creation of a website (www.kyhemlocks.org) and educational materials. This year’s grant also will fund additional educational materials to support the Division’s outreach program.
About Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
Toyota’s largest plant in North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) started production in May 1988. The Georgetown, Kentucky, plant employs about 6,800 full-time team members and represents a $5.3 billion investment. TMMK produces the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Venza as well as four-cylinder and V-6 engines and other engine components. Since 1987, TMMK has donated more than $40 million to Kentucky organizations.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.