At the end of March, when Toyota announced they would give $20m to the National Audubon Society, there was a bit of an uproar. Turns out, Toyota customers were not happy with the works that Audubon was doing to close down certain nature areas to visitors. The PR trouble isn't stopping Toyota from continuing to give money to groups that are looking after the land.
Toyota announced today that it will donate a total of $5m and 23 vehicles to various U.S. National Parks. The donations will be used "to enhance environmental leadership and educational programs at parks around the country," according to Toyota's release (read it in full after the jump). The national parks at the Everglades, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains will all see some of the money and were selected based on their work in teaching about the environment, particularly to students and teachers, and to people in inner-city and Native American communities.


Press Release:

Toyota Announces $5 Million Grant To National Park Support Organizations For Environmental Leadership Programs
04/28/2008

April 28, 2008 - Washington, D.C. - Toyota today announced a $5 million contribution in support of five National Parks and the National Park Foundation to enhance environmental leadership and educational programs at parks around the country. The company also will donate 23 vehicles to the National Parks.

Some of the funds may be used by the local fundraising partners such as Everglades National Parks for matching Federal funds as part of the National Park Centennial Challenge program highlighting the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.

"For more than a century, the National Parks have been a treasure across the United States," said Dian Ogilvie, senior vice president of Toyota Motor North America. "We are proud to support these excellent programs for young people at the National Parks that are helping to develop the environmental leaders of tomorrow."

The one-time $5 million grant will support environmental education programs of U.S. National Parks through national park friends groups and fundraising partners, including:

• Everglades National Park (Florida) through the South Florida National Parks Trust;
• Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee) through the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park;
• Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho) through the Yellowstone Park Foundation;
• Yosemite National Park (California) through the Yosemite Fund;
• Grand Canyon (Arizona) through the Grand Canyon National Park Foundation;
• Multiple national parks through the National Park Foundation;
• Many of the parks also will receive Toyota vehicles to support the programs.

The parks were chosen for their environmental educational programs and dedication to developing environmental stewards. These programs serve children and teachers by enhancing environmental science education and include day-use and camp scholarships for inner-city and Native American communities; bilingual Junior Ranger programs; and the University of California intern program designed to cultivate new leadership for the National Park Service.

"Toyota's philanthropic support of National Parks is an excellent match for the goals we're working to accomplish," said Paul A. Zambernardi, Executive Director of the Yellowstone Park Foundation. "These grants will allow Yellowstone and the other parks to do so much more for education in the National Parks."
The contributions build on Toyota's longstanding support of volunteerism, environmental leadership and national public lands and parks. Toyota has been a supporter of "Take Pride in America," a national partnership program of the US Department of the Interior aimed at increasing volunteer service on America's public lands.

About Toyota
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 to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit www.toyota.com/community.

[Source: Toyota]

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