Forty Conservationists Receive 2010 TogetherGreen Fellowships

TogetherGreen Fellow Jenga Mwendo
TogetherGreen Fellow, Jenga Mwendo
Published: Oct 6, 2010
New York, NY - 
Contacts: Brenda Timm (Audubon)
212-979-3198/ btimm@audubon.org

Javier Moreno (Toyota)
212-715-7469/Jmoreno@tma.toyota.com

Reviving public gardens and edible landscapes in New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward. Introducing coalfield communities to biofuels. Increasing access for low-income communities to energy efficiency programs. Transforming abandoned lots into vibrant ecosystems. These are just a few ways in which 40 promising conservation leaders will advance their environmental vision and leadership skills as recipients of the 2010 TogetherGreen Fellowships.

The TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Program invests in high-potential individuals from all backgrounds, providing them with the tools, resources, visibility, and a peer network to help them lead conservation actions that will help shape a healthier environmental future. Audubon and Toyota launched the five-year TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to fund innovative community projects, build a growing cadre of trained conservation leaders, and offer volunteer opportunities across the country to benefit the environment.

"We are thrilled to welcome another extremely talented and diverse group of TogetherGreen Fellows who have the passion and skills to inspire and lead others," said Audubon President David Yarnold. "Thanks to the generosity of Toyota, the TogetherGreen fellowship program allows Audubon to find and foster individuals who have innovative ideas and approaches for engaging people and achieving conservation results. They are poised to change the world--one community at a time."

Every year, 40 Fellows are chosen for their leadership potential, skills, and commitment to engaging diverse communities in conserving wildlife, land, water and energy. This year's Fellows class includes 15 individuals from within the Audubon network and 25 individuals from other organizations across the country. Fellows receive a $10,000 grant; assistance launching a conservation action project, specialized training, and the opportunity to become part of an exciting alumni network of conservation professionals.

TogetherGreen Fellows participate in a weeklong professional development course at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia focused on enhancing conservation skills and sharing the latest thinking on achieving sustainable conservation success. Near the completion of their 18-month fellowship, Fellows attend a multi-day retreat focused on sharing best practices, fundraising, diversity, evaluation, and strategies to sustain their conservation action projects over the long term.

The 2010 class was selected from a competitive pool of highly qualified individuals by a national advisory board of conservation and education leaders. Fellows must have at least six years experience in conservation, a passion for conservation, the desire to learn and grow, and demonstrate a proven ability in reaching new audiences. In all, the 2010 Fellows will help engage thousands of people to protect habitat, wildlife and water and save energy in 34 cities in 22 different states.

"TogetherGreen gives me optimism," said Diane Wood, President, National Environmental Education Foundation, and TogetherGreen Advisory Board Member. "TogetherGreen Fellows are smart, passionate, and representative of diverse communities. They bring vital new voices and perspectives into environmental conversations and are clearly ready to take on today's and tomorrow's ever more challenging conservation issues."

"The results from the first two years of the Fellows program brought to life everything that TogetherGreen sought to accomplish," added Patricia Salas Pineda, Group Vice President, Toyota Motor North America. "I'm confident that the next group of Fellows will continue that success and make a difference for years to come."

Since the TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership program launched in November 2008, Fellows have recruited nearly 24,000 participants and 650 partner organizations for their conservation projects and contributed nearly 98,000 hours of time.

If you or someone you know has a creative environmental project and would like to apply for a 2011 TogetherGreen Fellowship, applications will be available online beginning in early 2011 at http://www.togethergreen.org/fellows.

A complete list of the 2010 TogetherGreen Fellows and details about their conservation projects can be found at http://www.togethergreen.org/fellows.

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About TogetherGreen
Audubon and Toyota launched the five-year TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to build the promise of a greener, healthier future through innovation, leadership and volunteerism. To date, 120 environmental leaders--both from within Audubon and from outside organizations--have received TogetherGreen Fellowships to protect land, water, and energy resources nationwide. For more information, visit www.togethergreen.org.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, including one under construction. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

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. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $500 million to philanthropic programs 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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The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.