Rising Stars Singled Out by Audubon/Toyota for Environmental Leadership
New York, NY — Green jobs training. Educating children and families about watershed restoration. Protecting Tundra Swans, Barn Owls and the Guam Rail. Helping small and medium-sized businesses curb global warming. Using humor, laughter and play techniques to address “hot button” environmental issues. Creating green jobs for disadvantaged communities. These are just a few ways in which 40 promising conservation leaders will advance their environmental vision and conservation leadership skills as recipients of 2009 TogetherGreen Fellowships.
The TogetherGreen Fellowship program invests in high-potential environmentalists, providing them with the tools, resources, visibility and a peer network to help them lead the conservation actions needed to shape a greener, healthier future. Audubon and Toyota launched the five-year TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to fund conservation projects, train environmental leaders, and offer opportunities to volunteer to significantly benefit the environment.
“We are pleased to usher in another extremely gifted group of TogetherGreen Fellows who have tremendous potential to inspire and lead others,” said Audubon President John Flicker. “They have the talent and the passion to help tackle the huge environmental challenges and opportunities we face in the years to come.”
Every year, 40 fellows (half from within Audubon and half from outside groups) are chosen for their leadership potential, skills and commitment to engaging diverse communities in conserving land, water and/or energy. Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend, assistance launching a conservation action project, all-expenses paid specialized training and they become part of an exciting alumni network of conservation professionals.
Fellows participate in a week-long, kick-off training at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s National Conservation Training Center focused on enhancing conservation skills and sharing the latest thinking on achieving sustainable conservation success. Near the completion of their fellowship, fellows return for a three-day follow up retreat focused on fundraising, diversity, evaluation, and strategies to sustain their conservation action projects over the long term.
Sample 2009 conservation action projects that will be funded this year include:
- Greening city government and implementing the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in South Florida;
- Empowering more young people in Denver to reduce energy use at their schools and homes;
- Teaching Brooklyn teens to connect the dots between food and energy conservation;
- Hosting a learning institute on clean technology and green jobs in the Bronx;
- Working with local governments in western Montana on stream and wetland protection measures;
- Preserving undeveloped barrier islands in North Carolina; and
- Establishing a town’s one and only recycling center in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The 2009 class was selected from a competitive pool of highly qualified individuals by an 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 previously unengaged audiences. In all, the 2009 fellows will help engage thousands of people to protect habitat, wildlife and water and save energy in 37 cities in 20 different states and one U.S. territory.
"We must engage the best and brightest leaders representing the broadest and most diverse communities in this country to solve our ever more complex conservation challenges,” said Diane Wood, President, National Environmental Education Foundation, and TogetherGreen Advisory Board Member. “TogetherGreen is a creative program that uncovers such leaders, nurtures their talents, supports their dedication to conservation and holds them up to inspire others to follow."
“The results from the first year of the Fellows program brought to life everything that TogetherGreen sought to accomplish," added Patricia Salas Pineda, Group Vice President, Toyota Motor North America. “The next group of 40 Fellows will continue that success and make a difference for years to come.”
The inaugural class of TogetherGreen Fellows was named in 2008 and in less than one year recruited more than 3,400 participants for their conservation projects and contributed a combined 37,000 hours to their conservation action projects. One 2008 fellow leveraged her $10,000 grant to raise an additional $180,000 in matched funds.
If you have a creative environmental project and would like to apply for a 2010 TogetherGreen
Fellowship, applications will be available online beginning in early 2010 at http://www.togethergreen.org/fellows
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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, 80 environmental leaders-half from within Audubon and half from outside organizations-have received TogetherGreen
Fellowships to protect land, water, and energy resources nationwide. For more information, 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
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. 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 $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