CHEVY CHASE, MD – With a shared interest in the protection of the environment, the Toyota USA Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation will fund the expansion of 4-H’s youth water quality and conservation programming, called 4-H2O. Today, Toyota and Coca-Cola collectively donated an additional $850,000 - $600,000 from Toyota and $250,000 from Coca-Cola - to expand this important work into five new states – bringing the total program participation to 10 states.
“We could not ask for better partners than The Coca-Cola and Toyota USA Foundation as we continue to strengthen and broaden our exciting environmental education efforts,” said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council. “With this continued generous support, we will expand our efforts into five new states and reach more than 40,000 additional 4-H youth and mentors through active new 4-H2O projects.”
4-H2O Community Projects
Through the Toyota’s continued support, 4-H will expand the reach of 4-H2O Community Projects. Currently serving communities in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi and West Virginia, 4-H2O Community Projects will now add Texas. Each state has chosen communities where 4-H youth identify and implement local water-related projects. From beach cleanup efforts to water-quality testing in major bodies of water, youth bring their findings to community leaders for discussion and review of potential solutions for their community. In 2008, 4-H2O Community Projects reached over 73,000 community members in five states and created 46 local partnerships.
Additionally, the grant from Toyota will assist the growth of 4-H2Online to reach 200,000 youth. The Web site serves as the interactive hub for 4-H2O programming around the nation, where youth share their experiences and what they have learned about water conservation and water quality testing. For example, 4-H youth in Kentucky collaborated with Montana State University to develop a vodcast documenting their trip to the Georgetown, Kentucky Toyota plant and discussing the water management techniques they learned from the environmental engineers there. Funds will support the capabilities of 4-H2Online to host additional youth vodcasts, 4-H curriculum guides and online educational activities.
“We are excited to expand our relationship with 4-H as they grow these excellent water conservation programs for our young people,” said Pat Pineda, group vice president of philanthropy at Toyota Motor North America. “It is rewarding for our company to support an organization like 4-H that has such a tremendous impact on America’s youth and its future.”
The Coca-Cola Foundation has generously provided the funding to launch 4-H2O: Replenish. This exciting water conservation project will serve Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia and Wisconsin. In each of these four states, 4-H, the National Water Program and the Land Grant Universities are working together to find ways to educate communities on useful water-saving techniques. Through demonstration sites for items such as rain barrels and rain gardens, community members will learn how to best save water. In Oklahoma, for example, one of the 10 4-H2O: Replenish sites in the state collected 14,000 gallons of rainwater in May alone, and used it in an irrigation system serving a community vegetable garden.
4-H2O: Replenish has a total projected reach of 37,000 youth and 50 million gallons of water saved.
“Water stewardship is a global initiative for The Coca-Cola Company and partnering with 4-H will allow us to localize that initiative and connect with America’s youth in a meaningful way,” said Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “Coca-Cola is proud to work with an organization like 4-H that is making a difference in local communities by engaging young people and focusing on conserving one of our planet’s most valuable resources, water.”
4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of National 4-H Headquarters (USDA). The 4-H programs are implemented by the 106 Land-Grant Universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Learn more about4-H at http://www.4-h.org./
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs more than 35,000 in the U.S. 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. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $464 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit www.toyota.com/community.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
Since its inception, The Coca-Cola Foundation has contributed $325 million to help build sustainable communities worldwide through initiatives focusing on water stewardship, active healthy living, community recycling, education, arts and culture and civic affairs. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please go to www.thecoca-colacompany.com/citizenship/foundation_coke.html
National 4-H Council: Kyle Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-961-2889
Toyota 4-H2O Community Projects
· San Mateo, Sacramento, and Orange Counties in California are participating through 4-H clubs, in school and afterschool activities, and camping. The project’s goal is to increase youth understanding of the linkage between urbanization and health of local streams, creeks, and the ocean by testing local waterways. They also aim to reduce overall water consumption in community homes through public presentations and educational workshops.
· Counties participating are using Watershed Watch, utilizing hands-on water testing and analysis to determine the impact of non-point source pollution in watersheds in their communities. Along with water testing, 4-H2O Community Project participants use GPS units to conduct a community survey of waterways, detailing the quality of individual streams.
· Some of Michigan’s projects work both in school programming and with 4-H clubs with a focus of water-related clean up efforts and educational programming. 4-H youth focus on how every day actions taken impact for better or for worse the water resources that surround them.
· Fourteen counties in Mississippi participating are using the Adopt-A-Stream program. 4-H’ers identify water chemistry and quality in their local waterways in the program. Some Mississippi Toyota 4-H2O Community Project communities use GPS units to mark the water quality samples and for other community conservation projects, such as marking storm drains.
· Bexar County, Texas focuses on teaching youth about water origin, usage, pollutants, and conservation in an in school setting for elementary school students. High school students are trained in science classes to teach water concepts at water fairs to younger 4-H’ers as well as other community members.
· Four community clusters in West Virginia are participating through afterschool programs and state-wide through camping programs. Program participants develop a locally relevant action plan to initiate positive change associated with water quality and conservation. They then present their findings of research and action plan to local communities via local board meetings, area 4-H Days, county fairs, and other relevant local venues.
4-H2O:Replenish Project, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation
· Eight communities are building rain water harvesting systems in their areas. The state has also sponsored an art contest for 4-H youth to design art for the large rain barrels in the eight communities.
· In Georgia, all five 4-H centers, with annual visitors reaching 38,000, will be utilized in this project. New water-saving technology will be implemented and 4-H visitors will be encouraged to bring their learning back home with them to implement in their communities.
· Ten counties are constructing various water harvesting and saving systems, from six thousand gallon rain barrels, to drip irrigation in community gardens. These large-scale projects are leading to learning that youth and community members can take home with them to implement on a smaller scale.
· For this project, Wisconsin is building ten rain gardens across the state with 4-H youth, with a goal of saving at least 120,000 gallons of water. Along with the rain gardens, youth will learn how to build rain barrels to water their gardens, saving even more water along the way.
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