Prestigious Awards Further Efforts of Diverse Community Leaders Nationwide
New York, June 21, 2012 – Forty promising conservation leaders will advance their environmental vision and leadership skills as recipients of the 2012 Audubon & Toyota TogetherGreen Fellowships. Hailing from all across the nation, this year’s TogetherGreen fellows will tackle environmental projects as diverse as the populations they serve – from building a solar garden with Illinois high school students, to protecting the ecologically sensitive Bering Strait in Alaska.
TogetherGreen, a conservation initiative of the National Audubon Society and Toyota, selects 40 high-potential local leaders annually to receive a $10,000 fellows grant. With the funds, TogetherGreen Fellows conduct community projects to engage diverse audiences in habitat, water or energy conservation. In addition to receiving support launching their conservation initiatives, the Fellows also benefit from specialized training and the opportunity to become part of an exciting alumni network of conservation professionals.
“These are heroes. They help people engage with nature. They look like America; diverse, passionate and patriotic,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “They are leaders and we’re proud to give them a chance to invent the future.”
Sample fellowship projects that will receive 2012 funding include:
· Habitat: In Illinois, Iraq War veteran Benjamin Haberthur (Forest Preserve District of Kane County) will help military veterans to overcome symptoms of PTSD by engaging them in hands-on restoration of local wetlands.
· Water: In New York, David Brown (Finger Lakes Institute) will shoot underwater video of Finger Lakes watersheds to document its condition prior to inevitable deterioration caused by gas drilling and invasive species. This video footage will be made available for free to regional non-profits fighting to stop gas extraction activities, and used by any organizations involved in watershed awareness efforts.
· Energy: In Ohio, Mark Rembert (Energize Clinton County) will launch Dropoly, an online energy reduction game that allows users to weigh various strategies and improvements based on their monetary and CO2 savings in order to help people make more informed decisions on decreasing their energy usage.
· Engaging diverse audiences in conservation: Off the coast of South Carolina, in the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Queen Quet Marquetta Goodwine will develop a multigenerational project to educate citizens of her nation about the endangered species that share their shores.
“For the fourth year in a row, Toyota is proud to support such an impressive and diverse group of conservation leaders,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of...