A Shared Responsibility

Team members across the country dig in, literally and figuratively, on National Public Lands Day.

October 16, 2019
Show of Force -- Red-shirted Toyota team members join with blue-shirted NEEF representatives, along with many other NPLD volunteers, at Rock Creek Park near the nation's capital.

For more than 20 years, Toyota has been an ardent sponsor of National Public Lands Day — traditionally observed on the fourth Saturday of September.

This year was no exception as the company once again rallied together to show its support in the form of grant donations, collaborations with other like-minded organizations and — most significantly — an honest day’s hard work helping to restore and enhance public lands, forests, waterways and more.

Rock Creek Park was 2019’s signature site among the hundreds in play across the country. Team members in the Washington, DC area joined forces with their counterparts at the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) as well as representatives of the Rock Creek Conservancy and the National Park Service. Together they took on a wide range of stewardship activities, such as invasive plant removal, trash cleanup and native plantings.

Kevin Butt, regional environmental sustainability director of TMNA’s sustainability programs, was also on hand and announced that Toyota was underwriting a $200,000 grant to help build on that momentum.

“This grant will help parks to effectively reduce invasive plants and increase habitat for threatened native wildlife,” says Butt. “It ties in with our biodiversity goals and aims to conserve habitat for future generations.

Rock Creek Park was just one point of light amid a vast constellation of similar volunteer efforts nationwide. Scroll down to catch a glimpse of the impact your fellow team members had on some of our shared natural treasures.

Slinging Sod -- Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi team members get down and dirty, moving sod to help build a terraced beach alongside a lake at Tombigbee State Park in Tupelo, Mississippi. A whopping 535 volunteers endured intense heat to tackle multiple projects, the last in the plant's five-year commitment to help restore the park.

Lost in Nature -- Cincinnati Region team members Ron DuSheid (left) and Tom Tapp help remove honeysuckle plants at Lake Isabella in Loveland, Ohio. In all, more than 30 volunteers also painted fences, landscaped and beautified the area in front of a boathouse and removed leaves from wildlife viewing areas.

Landscape Love -- Market Representation Analyst Sarah Braine was among 25 team members from the New York Region and Lexus Eastern Area who gathered and Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey, to pull weeds, soften soil, trim shrubs and prepare the landscape for winter.
Water Works -- Debby Byrne (left) and Abril Galang, engineers at Toyota R&D in Ann Arbor, Michigan, were among 50 volunteers who in just two hours removed more than 80 pounds of trash from the Huron River near the Gallup Park Livery.
A Cut Above -- The Chicago Region's Sam Zangri helps remove an old wire farm fence under the guidance of a Kane County Forest Preserve official. In all, 63 members pitched in at two NPLD locations in Northern Illinois.
Budding Artist -- The daughter of Michael Zamora, team member at TFS' facility in St. Louis, gets into the NPLD spirit -- not to mention plenty of yellow paint -- at Cuivre River State Park in Troy, Missouri. Some 60 volunteers from Bodine, that organized the event, also joined forces with the local Boy Scouts to remove trash and invasive plants, paint campground gates and collect seeds.
Red Letter Day -- Team member Lisa Rainey (on ladder) and Ashlee Moyer (left) and Abigail Edwards, daughters of Rainey's colleagues at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, spruce up a shelter at Camp Appalachia in the Teays Valley about 15 minutes' drive from the plant. More than 30 team members and their family members also helped power wash a basketball court, paint the inside of a pool, remove old beds from cabins and reseed lawns.
For the Birds -- Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama team members Herbie Keene (left) and Leslie Namie assemble a purple martin bird colony, one of several activities taken on by the volunteer force of 60 people at Hays Nature Preserve near Huntsville, Alabama.
Protective Measures -- The Portland Region's Adam Fogg (left) and Grant Herbert, son of team member Brian Herbert, position a cage meant to protect young trees as they take root and grow in advance of the harsh winter weather to come. They were joined by more than 30 of their colleagues at Oxbow Regional Park in Gresham, Oregon.


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