Forty Conservationists Receive 2010 TogetherGreen Fellowships

October 6, 2010

Promising Leaders Singled Out by Audubon/Toyota to Create Positive Environmental Change

NEW YORK, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Reviving public gardens and edible landscapes in New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward. Introducing coalfield communities to biofuels. Increasing access for low-income communities to energy efficiency programs. Transforming abandoned lots into vibrant ecosystems. These are just a few ways in which 40 promising conservation leaders will advance their environmental vision and leadership skills as recipients of the 2010 TogetherGreen Fellowships.

The TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Program invests in high-potential individuals from all backgrounds, providing them with the tools, resources, visibility, and a peer network to help them lead conservation actions that will help shape a healthier environmental future. Audubon and Toyota launched the five-year TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to fund innovative community projects, build a growing cadre of trained conservation leaders, and offer volunteer opportunities across the country to benefit the environment.

“We are thrilled to welcome another extremely talented and diverse group of TogetherGreen Fellows who have the passion and skills to inspire and lead others,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Thanks to the generosity of Toyota, the TogetherGreen fellowship program allows Audubon to find and foster individuals who have innovative ideas and approaches for engaging people and achieving conservation results. They are poised to change the world–one community at a time.”

Every year, 40 Fellows are chosen for their leadership potential, skills, and commitment to engaging diverse communities in conserving wildlife, land, water and energy. This year’s Fellows class includes 15 individuals from within the Audubon network and 25 individuals from other organizations across the country. Fellows receive a $10,000 grant; assistance launching a conservation action project, specialized training, and the opportunity to become part of an exciting alumni network of conservation professionals.

TogetherGreen Fellows participate in a weeklong professional development course at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia focused on enhancing conservation skills and sharing the latest thinking on achieving sustainable conservation success. Near the completion of their 18-month fellowship, Fellows attend a multi-day retreat focused on sharing best practices, fundraising, diversity, evaluation, and strategies to sustain their conservation action projects over the long term.

The 2010 class was selected from a competitive pool of highly qualified individuals by a national 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 new audiences. In all, the 2010 Fellows will help engage thousands of people to protect habitat, wildlife and water and save energy in 34 cities in 22 different states.

TogetherGreen gives me optimism,” said Diane Wood, President, National Environmental Education Foundation, and TogetherGreen Advisory Board Member. “TogetherGreen Fellows are smart, passionate, and representative of diverse communities. They bring vital new voices and perspectives into environmental conversations and are clearly ready to take on today’s and tomorrow’s ever more challenging conservation issues.”

“The results from the first two years of the Fellows program brought to life everything that TogetherGreen sought to accomplish,” added Patricia Salas Pineda, Group Vice President, Toyota Motor North America. “I’m confident that the next group of Fellows will continue that success and make a difference for years to come.”

Since the TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership program launched in November 2008, Fellows have recruited nearly 24,000 participants and 650 partner organizations for their conservation projects and contributed nearly 98,000 hours of time.

If you or someone you know has a creative environmental project and would like to apply for a 2011 TogetherGreen Fellowship, applications will be available online beginning in early 2011 at http://www.togethergreen.org/fellows.

A complete list of the 2010 TogetherGreen Fellows and details about their conservation projects can be found at http://www.togethergreen.org/fellows.

The 2010 conservation projects that will be funded include (sorted by state):

       Name   Last Name      City       ST       Organization           Fellowship Project
      -----   ---------      ----       ---      ------------           ------------------
                                      Teaching about native desert
                                      plants in border lands
                                      schools for increased
                  Arizona Sonora      appreciation and improved
    Jesus     Garcia     Tucson       AZ       Desert Museum       desert habitat
    -----     ------     ------       ---      --------------      ----------------------------
                  Pacific Forest      Developing Native American
                  and Watershed       youth conservation leaders
                  Lands               and establishing a network
                  Stewardship         of environmental youth
    Mary      Adelzadeh  Sacramento   CA       Council             service providers
    ----      ---------  ----------   ---     ---------------     ---------------------------
                                                  Developing local clean
                                                  energy projects for the San
                                                  Francisco Bay Area, and
                                                  publishing a how-to guide
                                                  that Bay Area counties can
                San           Pacific             use to reduce greenhouse
    Rory      Cox         Francisco   CA       Environment         gas emissions
    ----      ---        ----------   ---     ------------        ----------------------------
                                      Implementing Audubon Youth
                                      Corps, an outdoor education
                                      and restoration project
                  Richardson Bay      with Title I partner
    Mindy     Hiatt      Tiburon      CA       Audubon Center      schools
    -----     -----      -------      ---     ---------------     ---------------------------
                                                                   Improving habitat for
                                                                   burrowing owls through
                                               Santa Clara         engagement of CA immigrant
    Shani     Kleinhaus  Palo Alto    CA       Audubon Society     communities
    -----     ---------  ---------    ---     ----------------    ---------------------------
                                                  Creating outreach and
                                                  naturalist-skills school
                                                  programs using a field
                                                  guide for Sierra Nevada
                San           Central Sierra      that he illustrated and
    John      Laws        Francisco   CA       Audubon Society     produced
    ----      ----       ----------   ---     ---------------     -------------------------
                                      Engaging diverse youth and
                                      adults in monitoring nest
                                      boxes and developing
                                      protocols to protect key
                  Center for Land-    species at the Farm on
    Nina      Suzuki     Davis        CA       Based Learning      Putah Creek
    ----      ------     -----        ---      -----------------  ---------------------------
                                                                   Improving Madrona Marsh
                                                                   habitat by working with
                                               South Bay           Korean, Hispanic, and at-
    Marcos    Trinidad   Los Angeles  CA       Audubon Society     risk youth
    ------    --------   -----------  ---     ----------------    --------------------------
                                                                   Engaging urban youth through
                                                                   scientific illustration and
                                               Los Angeles         protection of threatened?
    Stacey    Vigallon   Los Angeles  CA       Audubon Society     coastal sage scrub
    ------    --------   -----------  ---     ----------------     -----------------------------
                                               Southwest           Piloting a river
                                               Conservation        conservation program for
    Christina Nesset     Durango      CO       Corps               Durango youth
    --------- ------     -------      ---     -------------       -------------------------
                                                                   Implementing an education
                                               National Audubon    and research project for
    Greg      Butcher    Washington   DC       Society             Wood Thrush conservation
    ----      -------    ----------   ---      -----------------  --------------------------
                                      Bringing the "Earth Gauge"
                                      program (broadcast
                                      communicating environmental
                                      and climate info to
                  National            viewers) to underserved &
                  Environmental       Spanish-speaking audiences
                  Education           in the U.S. through the
    Sara      Espinoza   Washington   DC       Foundation          Telemundo network
    ----      --------   ----------   ---     --------------      ---------------------------
                                      Installing mangrove seedling
                                      eco-art in Miami schools
                                      to increase appreciation
                  Miami Science       for and improve Biscayne
    Fernando  Bretos     Miami        FL       Museum              Bay mangrove habitat
    --------  ------     -----        ---     --------------       -----------------------------
                                      Implementing a
                                      sustainability plan for the
                                      City of Miami Beach, and
                                      implementing a public
                                      campaign to engage south FL
                                      residents in water
                  City of Miami       conservation and habitat
    Lisa      Botero     Miami Beach  FL       Beach               restoration activities
    ----      ------     -----------  ---     --------------      ----------------------------
                                                                   Developing a web-based tool
                                               Wabash River        for residents to calculate
                                               Enhancement         storm water impact and
    Sara      Peel       Warsaw       IN       Corporation         their carbon footprint
    ----      ----       ------       ---     -------------       ----------------------------
                                      Designing and planting
                                      demonstration an urban
                  Kansas City         forest garden in Kansas
                  Center for          City. Promoting energy and
                  Urban               ecological benefits through
    Daniel    Dermitzel  Kansas City  KS       Agriculture         education and outreach.
    ------    ---------  -----------  ---     ------------        ---------------------------
                                      Designing a high school
                  Kentucky            education program focused
                  Division of         on biofuels and biodiesel,
                  Compliance          incorporating chemistry and
    Kenya     Stump      Lexington    KY       Assistance          agriculture
    -----     -----      ---------    ---     ------------        ----------------------------
                                      Engaging Lower 9th Ward
                                      residents in a community
                                      garden project to
                  Backyard            reintroduce local
                  Gardeners           agriculture and improve
    Jenga     Mwendo     New Orleans  LA       Network             habitat
    -----     ------     -----------  ---     ---------           ------------------------
                                                                   Improving post-Katrina
                                                                   neighborhood planning &
                                               Longue Vue House    storm water catchment
    Hilairie  Schackai   New Orleans  LA       and Gardens         strategies
    --------  --------   -----------  ---      -----------------  -----------------------
                                      Organizing a youth-run
                                      community supported
                                      agriculture market and
                                      designing urban agriculture
                                      curriculum to connect youth
                  Trustee of          to land, ecology, and
    Will      Bullock    Boston       MA       Reservations        natural resources
    ----      -------    ------       ---     -------------       ----------------------------
                                      Working with urban youth to
                                      transform a vacant lot into
                                      green space for an outdoor
                  Groundwork          classroom and for improved
    Rose      Gonzalez   Lawrence     MA       Lawrence            wildlife habitat
    ----      --------   --------     ---     -----------         ----------------------------
                                      Implementing a youth
                                      engagement project with
                                      Detroit Youth Energy Squad
                                      that promotes youth
                                      leadership and helps
                  Voices for Earth    households improve energy
    Justin    Schott     Ann Arbor    MI       Justice             efficiency
    ------    ------     ---------    ---      -----------------  ---------------------------
                                                                   Designing a handbook for the
                                               Greater Ozarks      Green Leadership Academy
    Greg      Swick      Ozark        MO       Audubon Society     for Diverse Ecosystems
    ----      -----      -----        ---     ---------------      -----------------------------
                   Implementing a land
                   stewardship and college-
                   elementary mentorship
                   program, working with at-
    Heather   Ristow     Billings     MT      Montana Audubon      risk youth
    -------   ------     --------     ---     ---------------     -------------------------
                                      Implementing a "Share the
                                      Beach" social marketing
                                      campaign to protect nesting
                                      birds through production of
                                      videos that highlight how
                                      people can help neo-
                  Audubon North       tropical migratory
    Andy      Wood       Hampstead    NC       Carolina            songbirds
    ----      ----       ---------    ---     --------------      ----------------------------
                                                                   Designing and implementing
                                                                   homeowner workshops and
                                               City of Las         promoting retrofitting for
    Thomas    Perrigo    Las Vegas    NV       Vegas               energy efficiency
    ------    -------    ---------    ---     ------------        ---------------------------
                                                                   Creating a coalition and
                                                                   steering committee to help
                                                                   secure long-term
    Sean      Mahar      Troy         NY      Audubon New York     conservation funding for NY
    ----      -----      ----         ---     ----------------    ---------------------------
                   Producing a new media/
                   feature film to help reduce
                   threats to habitats,
                   improve water quality,
                   reduce greenhouse gases;
                   building on videos produced
                   for Sprig and Grist/Ask
    Jennifer  Prediger   Brooklyn     NY      Grist.org            Umbra
    --------  --------   --------     ---     ---------           ----------------------------
                                                                   Managing a citizen science
                                               New York City       shorebird program in Long
    John      Rowden     New York     NY       Audubon Society     Island's Great South Bay
    ----      ------     --------     ---     ----------------    ---------------------------
                                               Shoals Marine       Designing an education
                                               Lab, Cornell        program to protect
    Robin     Seeley     Ithaca       NY       University          intertidal habitat
    -----     ------     ------       ---     --------------      -----------------------
                                                  Expanding an Avian Art
                                                  Contest to include habitat
                                                  restoration and work with
                Huber         Aullwood Audubon    economically disadvantaged
    Nicole    Conrad      Heights     OH       Center              elementary students
    ------    ------     --------     ---      -----------------  ---------------------------
                  Antioch College     Installing solar panels at
                  Glen Helen          an education center and
                  Outdoor             designing an energy
                  Education           curriculum for diverse
    Beth      Krisko     Xenia        OH       Center              audiences
    ----      ------     -----        ---     ----------------    ---------------------------
                                                                   Piloting first "lights out"
                                                                   program volunteer protocol
                                               Audubon Society     & monitoring for the city
    Mary      Coolidge   Portland     OR       of Portland         of Portland
    ----      --------   --------     ---     ----------------    ----------------------------
                   Improving access for low-
                   income and minority
                   communities to take part in
                   energy efficiency programs
    Nuin-Tara Key        Portland     OR      Metro                in Portland
    --------- ---        --------     ---     -----               ----------------------------
                                                                   Designing and implementing a
                                                                   phenology-based school
                                               Lehigh Gap          curriculum and citizen
    Diane     Husic      Kunkletown   PA       Nature Center       science monitoring program
    -----     -----      ----------   ---     --------------       -----------------------------
                                                                   Engaging youth in leadership
                                               American Youth      and environmental career
                                               Works Charter       training and habitat
    Chris     Sheffield  Austin       TX       School              restoration
    -----     ---------  ------       ---     ---------------      -----------------------------
                                                                   Working with coalfield
                                                                   communities in Appalachia
                                               University of       to improve reclaimed
    Samir     Doshi      Burlington   VT       Vermont             landscapes
    -----     -----      ----------   ---     --------------      --------------------------
                   Creating an Phone app and
                   Facebook interface that
                   lets users see live,
                   historic, and future
                   weather and climate
    Bill      Finnegan   Montpelier   VT      Tamarack Media       information
    ----      --------   ----------   ---     --------------      --------------------------
                                      Using the State Birding
                                      Trail program to create a
                                      partnership with Olympic
                                      Tribal Tourism Association
                  Audubon             and restore habitat with
    Christi   Norman     Seattle      WA       Washington          Native Tribes
    -------   ------     -------      ---     -----------         --------------------------
                                                                   Implementing an elementary
                                                                   school program using
                                               Seattle Audubon     schoolyard habitat and
    Janelle   Shafer     Seattle      WA       Society             scientific inquiry

About TogetherGreen

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, 120 environmental leaders–both from within Audubon and from outside organizations–have received TogetherGreen Fellowships to protect land, water, and energy resources nationwide. For more information, visit www.togethergreen.org.

About Audubon

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.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants, including one under construction. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

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 $500 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S.

For more information on Toyota’s commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/community.

    Contacts:  Brenda Timm (Audubon)
    212-979-3198/ btimm@audubon.org

    Javier Moreno (Toyota)
    212-715-7469/ Jmoreno@tma.toyota.com

SOURCE National Audubon Society

Source: newswire

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