Toyota TogetherGreen, a conservation grant program of the National Audubon Society, has announced its 2013 Audubon Toyota TogetherGreen Fellows. After a competitive, nationwide selection process, Audubon North Carolina Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator Kim Brand has been awarded $10,000 to lead a year-long partnership between Forsyth Audubon and Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County to revitalize an urban neighborhood for birds and people.
Targeting the Boston-Thurmond community, the focal neighborhood for Habitat for Humanity's neighborhood revitalization initiative and located north of Winston-Salem's urban core, community partners will work together to create six bird-friendly yards and two public area habitats designed to provide the range of food sources birds need to succeed during migration and throughout the year. As of now, 75 percent of the area’s plants are invasive and non-native.
“Toyota TogetherGreen Fellows help people engage with nature. They look like America: diverse, passionate and patriotic,” said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold (@david_yarnold). “They are environmental heroes, and we’re excited to give them a chance to invent the future.”
“The goal is to engage residents of this economically challenged, predominantly African-American neighborhood, to work to beautify their own neighborhood, and at the same time support bird populations,” says Kim Brand. “Volunteers from Audubon North Carolina and Habitat will work together to assess and plan the bird-friendly sites, and plant 220 trees and shrubs that will provide much needed habitat and food sources for birds.”
Audubon and Toyota select 40 high-potential conservation leaders to receive Toyota TogetherGreen Fellowships each year. With their $10,000 grants, Toyota TogetherGreen Fellows conduct community projects to engage diverse audiences in habitat, water or energy conservation. In addition to receiving support to help launch their conservation initiatives, Toyota TogetherGreen Fellows also benefit from specialized training and membership in a diverse national network of conservation professionals.
Brand is a resident of Winston-Salem, and an advocate of North Carolina’s bird population. She has organized Lights Out programs in several major cities including Winston, and is currently assisting former Toyota TogetherGreen Fellow Curtis Smalling in developing Bird-Friendly Communities statewide, which will work to restore sustainable habitats for high-priority conservation bird species. To learn more about the conservation efforts of Audubon North Carolina and Toyota TogetherGreen visit nc.audubon.org/bird-friendly-communities.
About Audubon North Carolina
With a century of conservation history in North Carolina, Audubon strives to conserve and restore the habitats we share with all wildlife, focusing on the needs of birds. Audubon North Carolina achieves its mission through a blend of science-based research and conservation, education and outreach, and advocacy. Audubon North Carolina has offices in Corolla, Boone, Wilmington and Chapel Hill.
About Toyota TogetherGreen
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Toyota and the National Audubon Society launched the Toyota TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to foster diverse environmental leadership and invest in innovative conservation ideas. Toyota TogetherGreen funding recipients have improved more than 30,000 acres of habitat, mobilized 420,000 individuals, conserved 15 million gallons of water and leveraged $10.5 million in volunteer hours. For more information, visit www.togethergreen.org.