Toyota TogetherGreen, a conservation initiative of the National Audubon Society and Toyota, today announced new awards of more than $1.3 million to 70 innovative and diverse conservation projects nationwide. Audubon and Toyota founded Toyota TogetherGreen in 2008 to foster diversity, jumpstart innovation, and invest in conservation leaders. Now in its sixth year, Toyota TogetherGreen has invested $23.5 million in community-based conservation, engaging more than 420,000 people in 295 cities and all 50 states.
“Toyota TogetherGreen is demonstrating the power of investing in communities over the long term and underscores our commitment to supporting the next generation of environmental leaders,” said Toyota Motor North America Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Latondra Newton. “Our fellows and grantees are driving efforts to create healthier, stronger, greener neighborhoods by improving habitat and water quality and saving energy.”
This year, Audubon and Toyota are awarding $953,000 in Toyota TogetherGreen Innovation Grants to 30 organizations. The awards will be used to develop innovative approaches to address pressing environmental problems and achieve large-scale, long-term conservation results. Many of the projects are working with communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in the conservation movement, from religious groups to inner-city students to low-income communities.
In addition, 40 high-potential leaders will receive Toyota TogetherGreen Fellowships, which include $10,000 grants to create and lead projects that engage diverse communities in conservation. Toyota TogetherGreen Fellows also receive specialized training and the opportunity to become part of an alumni network of established conservation professionals.
“Because of Toyota’s support, conservationists across the U.S. are incubating new approaches to creating healthier communities,” said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold (@david_yarnold) “Toyota TogetherGreen has helped jumpstart great programs, leaders and ideas by providing funding, professional development and a support network to scale conservation work for even more significant results. They are environmental heroes and we’re pleased to give them a chance to invent the future.”
Since 2008, Audubon’s Toyota TogetherGreen fellows and grantees have worked with communities to improve 30,426 acres of habitat, plant 237,447 native trees and plants, conserve 15 million gallons of water, and remove more than 3.5 tons of trash. The program has logged 474,880 volunteer hours, valued at more than $10.5 million. Toyota TogetherGreen fellows and grantees have partnered with more than 3,000 organizations across the country—from Native American tribes to schools to corporations— and have leveraged their funding to raise an additional $9.1 million to support conservation.
In order by state, the recipients for the 2013 Toyota TogetherGreen grants and fellowships are:
- AR (Little Rock): Malik Saafir, of Village Commons, an environmental justice non-profit, will expand the organization’s capacity to work with impoverished neighborhoods to lower utility bills. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- AZ (Phoenix): Cathy Wise, of Audubon Arizona, plans to continue to draw public attention to the plight of burrowing owls by creating new habitat for the birds, and by engaging the local art community in conservation through art. Innovation Grant: $25,490.
- CA (Bishop): Hillary Behr, of Eastern Sierra Audubon Society, will use her planning grant to improve relationships with the Bishop Paiute Tribe and Bishop Elementary School, ultimately working towards creating a Conservation Open Space Area. Innovation Grant: $5,000.
- CA (Carmel): Andrea Lewis, of environmental education non-profit MEarth, will help restore a major wildlife corridor in the Carmel River Watershed. Innovation Grant: $36,000.
- CA (Los Angeles): Viviana Vallin, of Audubon Center at Debs Park, plans to focus on protecting habitat for local species and landscapes with young people living in East Los Angeles. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CA (Quincy): Darrel Jury, of Plumas Audubon Society, will restore habitat using Native American traditional ecology and hold a traditional ecology symposium to share these practices. Innovation Grant: $24,381.
- CA (Rolling Hills Estates): Adrienne Mohan, of Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, will engage high school students in the restoration of local habitat critical to endangered bird species. Innovation Grant: $10,000.
- CA (San Francisco): Andreas Karelas, of RE-volv, plans to provide community members with the resources to consider solar energy for themselves and to encourage investment in a revolving fund for solar energy. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CA (San Francisco): Laura Horton, of Wild Equity Institute, will engage local high school students in restoration activities targeting endangered species local to the Bay area. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CA (San Luis Obispo): Gregory Ellis, of One Cool Earth, will create an educational program where high school and middle schools students mentor fourth grade classes about resource conservation. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CA (San Rafael): Claire Fitzgerald, of Strategic Energy Innovations, will create guidelines and action projects for high school teachers around environmental issues. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CA (Santa Rosa): Sandi Funke, of the Pepperwood Foundation, will engage ethnically diverse youth in real on-the-ground science, providing them with technical tools on data collection, and providing experiences in nature. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CA (Winters): Mary Adelzadeh, of the Blue-Ridge Beryessa Partnership, will work with private landowners to develop a regional prescribed burn management plan program. Innovation Grant: $5,000.
- CO (Black Forest): Justin Pepper, of Audubon Prairie Bird Initiative, plans to demonstrate financially and ecologically profitable cattle grazing by establishing integrated grazing, marketing and monitoring plans on two sites totaling over 11,000 acres. Innovation Grant: $70,000.
- CO (Boulder): Marda Kirn, of EcoArts Connections, will establish a Sustainability Culture Club that encourages young people to get involved in conservation through art and natural history. Innovation Grant: $34,240.
- CO (Denver): Deborah Purce, of Environmental Learning for Kids, plans to develop a new and comprehensive water resources program for underserved youth in Denver. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CO (Denver): Donny Roush, of Earth Force Inc., will expand the organization’s environmental education efforts by engaging students in applying classroom learning to problems they have discovered in their neighborhoods. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CO (Lake City): Camille Richard, of Fork Valley Conservancy, plans to identify and prioritize abandoned mines for restoration based on the degree of environmental contamination, historical significance and conservation value. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- CT (Southbury): Ken Elkins, of Audubon Center at Bent of the River, plans to expand the Bird Tales program, which creates bird habitat at nursing facilities, while also connecting people living with dementia with multisensory programming about birds.Innovation Grant: $56,000.
- DC (Washington): Steve Dryden, of the Endangered Species Coalition, will collaborate with area students to restore habitat for DC’s official bird, the Wood Thrush, in Rock Creek Natural Park. Innovation Grant: $28,300.
- FL (Miami): Amy Creekmur, of Tropical Audubon Society, will improve habitat for migratory birds across 24 acres in Miami Dade County. Innovation Grant: $46,869.
- FL (Miami): Celeste De Palma, of Tropical Audubon Society, will educate community members through a series of workshops, and advocate for mass transit as a way to conserve land and water and reduce the carbon footprint of Miami-Dade County. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- FL (Palm City): John Nelson, of Audubon of Martin County, will expand The Audubon Moment, a series of public service announcements, into new media markets and translate the series into Spanish. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- FL (Vero Beach): Graham Cox, of Pelican Island Audubon Society, will develop relationships with two communities in Indian River County, creating environmental quality of life indicators for each group. Innovation Grant: $5,000.
- GA (Atlanta): Darryl Haddock, of West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, will prepare a team of watershed stewards, who will advocate for Proctor Creek and help facilitate creek cleanups. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- HI (Honolulu): Miwa Tamanaha, of Kuaaina Ulu Auamo, will help restore nearshore reef habitat through planting and stewardship of native seaweed and macroalgae. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- ID (Boise): Elizabeth Urban, of Golden Eagle Audubon Society, aims to incorporate children of Boise’s refugee population into habitat restoration efforts. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- IL (Savannah): Veronica Kyle, of Faith in Place, will help the Vernon Park Church of God develop their community supported agriculture site as the center of a conservation education program aimed primarily at an African-American audience. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- IL (Geneva): Ben Haberthur, of Veterans Conservation Corps, will expand a previous Toyota TogetherGreen project that aims to connect veterans to the environment through ecological restoration. Innovation Grant: $55,928.
- IL (Glencoe): Catherine Mcglynn, of the Chicago Horticultural Society, will reach out to Hispanic communities, working to reduce invasive species’ presence through bilingual fact sheets and workshops. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- IN (Bloomington): Heather Reynolds, of Indiana University Bloomington, will engage the local community in efforts to restore the urban woodlands across two 10-acre preserves. Innovation Grant: $18,248.
- MD (Baltimore): Susie Creamer, of Patterson Park Audubon Center, will implement a program to connect Latinos to migratory birds that share similar travel patterns throughout the Americas, increasing knowledge of nearby bird species. Innovation Grant: $28,744.
- MD (Columbia): Chiara D'Amore, of Prescott College, seeks to connect families in her community with lightly used natural areas by holding nature outings twice a month. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- MD (Derwood): Amanda Rockler, of University of Maryland Extension, will develop a set of community storm water experts, trained to work with watershed groups and regional experts to help educate the broader region about the problems and solutions for storm water pollution. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- MD (Easton): Mark Scallion, of Pickering Creek Audubon Center, plans to lead residents at two low-income housing developments in a habitat restoration project at their complex. Innovation Grant: $27,939.
- MD (Greenbelt): Kimberly Walsh, of Chesapeake Education, Arts and Research Society (CHEARS), will partner with Greenbelt businesses, religious groups and residents to manage storm water runoff and pollution in the area. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- ME (Biddeford): Noah Perlut, of University of New England, will work with agricultural landowners in Vermont to farm high-quality products while preventing declines in grassland bird populations. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- ME (Falmouth): Sally Stockwell, of Maine Audubon, aims to protect large, unfragmented blocks of habitat in the North Maine Woods for conservation of northern forest-breeding birds by engaging forest landowners and managers in Maine. Innovation Grant: $75,000.
- MO (West Alton): Matthew Magoc, of The Audubon Center at Riverlands, plans to broaden bird-friendly communities throughout the St. Louis region by developing an afterschool conservation program for elementary-aged students. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- MT (Billings): Darcie Howard, of Montana Audubon, will work with students to record data about local plant and animal life at the Montana Audubon Center and connect that data to the development of a designated trail. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NC (Chapel Hill): Curtis Smalling, of Audubon North Carolina, will engage partners and the public to erect 10,000 Brown-headed Nuthatch nest boxes and encourage building owners and architects to create more bird-friendly structures throughout the state. Innovation Grant: $40,000.
- NC (Raleigh): Erin Mester, of Friends of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, will construct a permanent, protected habitat (a roost tower) in Raleigh, North Carolina, for Chimney Swifts.Innovation Grant: $24,698.
- NC (Raleigh): Melanie Allen, of Conservation Trust for North Carolina, will engage limited-resource landowners and landowners of color in conservation planning to improve access to conservation resources that increase water quality. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NC (Winston-Salem): Kimberley Brand, of Audubon Society of Forsyth County, will work with Forsyth Audubon and Habitat for Humanity to create six bird-friendly yards and two habitat oases in public spaces. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NJ (Bernardsville): Dale Rosselet, of New Jersey Audubon, will restore 15 acres of forest through invasive species removal and vegetation protection, educating city residents and employees about habitat health. Innovation Grant: $29,216.
- NJ (Gladstone): Angela Gorczyca, of Raritan Headwaters Association, will mobilize a team of volunteers from diverse communities to educate recreational users of local water bodies about the threat of invasive algae and how to prevent its spread. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NM (Albuquerque): Earl Conway, of Friends of Reservoirs, plans to bring together state and federal agencies with volunteer organizations to restore the shoreline of Elephant Butte Reservoir in south-central New Mexico. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NM (Albuquerque): John Wright, of New Mexico Water Collaborative, will develop a dynamic youth training program to educate youth on local water conservation issues through both classroom seminar work and hands-on, community-based projects. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NY (Albany): Laura McCarthy, of Audubon New York, will partner with two non-profits for the purpose of enhancing urban habitat through bird-friendly gardens in Albany and Troy. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NY (Bronx): Sam Marquand, of Rocking the Boat, will improve water quality of the Bronx River by removing harmful inorganic nutrients from its waters and engaging young people in hands-on restoration. Innovation Grant: $52,259.
- NY (Katonah): Janelle Robbins, of Bedford Audubon Society, plans to improve the water quality for the Lincolndale community through enhanced stormwater and septic management while restoring wildlife habitat in a key greenway corridor. Innovation Grant: $31,500.
- NY (Long Island City): Rebecca Bratspies, of the CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform, will connect the energy extraction-production-consumption continuum to document energy justice implications of current energy practices. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NY (New York): Susan Elbin, of New York City Audubon, will hold workshops to engage landscape architects in bird-friendly aspects of sustainable design, and engage Business Improvement Districts and street sweepers in the process. Innovation Grant: $21,160.
- NY (Newburgh): Frank Snyder, of San Miguel Academy of Newburgh, aims to implement a place-based learning program about the natural environment for students at San Miguel Academy. Innovation Grant: $30,300.
- NY (Oyster Bay): Rich Santangelo, of Audubon New York, will institute a multi-session elementary education program that teaches environmental awareness, science and an appreciation of nature through the study of birds. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NY (Savannah): Christopher Lajewski, of Montezuma Audubon Center, will collaborate with the business community to begin a homeschool seed propagation project that will help restore forests, wetlands and grasslands at the local nature center. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- NY (Queens): Tara Mei Smith, of New York City Audubon, aims to engage fashion-savvy New Yorkers in marsh grass and horseshoe crab habitat restoration efforts in Jamaica Bay and Gateway National Park. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- OH (Columbus): Amanda Duren, of Ohio Biological Survey, Inc., seeks to develop an educational campaign about reducing bird collisions for building owners, managers and residents in urban areas. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- OH (Dayton): Nenita Lapitan, of Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm, will work with 5th grade classes to develop field trip experiences that enrich local science and math academic standards through hands-on scientific inquiry. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- OK (Bixby): Todd Humphrey, of Tulsa Audubon Society, will educate high school students about habitat function and conservation management by creating a living classroom. Innovation Grant: $25,800.
- OR (Ashland): Megan Fehrman, of Rogue Farm Corps, will prepare beginning farmers and ranchers to start their own sustainable farms through classroom learning, peer discussions and farm tours. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- OR (Corvallis): Tom Kaye, of Institute for Applied Ecology, will develop an innovative partnership with two Oregon prisons to reverse habitat loss for the threatened Oregon Silverspot Butterfly, by restoring habitat at multiple field sites in Oregon. Innovation Grant: $24,644.
- OR (Portland): Gladys Ruiz, of the Audubon Society of Portland, plans to introduce youth to conservation career options by providing a 10-week spring training and paid summer employment opportunities at Audubon Society of Portland programs. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- PA (Harrisburg):William Wood, of Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Harrisburg Area, will mobilize diverse groups of volunteers in order to take an aggressive approach to preventing usable building materials from being disposed of in the landfill. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- PA (Pottsville): Sierra Gladfelter, of the Schuylkill Headwaters Association, will create a week-long summer program about water conservation for 10 high school students from diverse communities within the Schuylkill River Watershed. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
- TX (Victoria):James Dodson, of San Antonio Bay Partnership, will use a planning grant to identify suitable sites within the San Antonio Bay system for Rookery Island restoration and creation. Innovation Grant; $5,000.
- VA (Wallops Island): Anne Armstrong, of Marine Science Consortium, will restore an impaired salt marsh and severely eroding shoreline so that it can serve as an outdoor laboratory for the community. Innovation Grant: $64,400.
- VT (Huntington): Daniel Schmidt, of Green Mountain Audubon Center, will document the migration stories of people and birds, strengthening the connection between both populations. Innovation Grant: $14,834.
- WA (Seattle): Marieke Rack, of Seattle Audubon Society, will work with private landowners, businesses, city departments and non-profit groups to implement an integrative tree canopy cover across the city. Innovation Grant; $5,000.
- WI (Herbster): Clare Hintz, of Alliance for Sustainability, aims to identify, capture and share the stories of women farmers in the Upper Midwest whose practices serve as role models for regenerative agriculture. Fellowship Grant: $10,000.
For more details about the 2013 Audubon and Toyota TogetherGreen projects, visit: www.togethergreen.org.
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. Visit Audubon online at www.audubon.org and follow @audubonsociety.
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