Toyota is donating 5 hybrid cars and $500,000 to help support Grand Canyon National Park’s educational programs and safety efforts. The donation is part of a larger initiative that the company is sponsoring to help support the National Park Service. In total, Toyota will donate $5 million and 21 hybrid vehicles to help support five different parks.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the United States’ most well-known national parks and according to the National Park Service received a little over 450,000 visitors in 2007. As stated in a press release from Toyota, these are several of the major initiatives that their gift of half a million dollars will fund:
- A preventative search and rescue program on the Canyon’s North Rim. A program already in place on the South Rim can reach up to 1200 people per day.
- General funding for the park’s environmental education programming, including travel grants to help assist students from inner-city and remotely located schools to make field trips to the park, as well as students living on tribal reservations.
- Purchasing cold weather clothes that can be loaned to students during the fall and winter months.
- An additional park ranger devoted to environmental education.
- Three additional horses that will be used by mounted park rangers.
The five hybrid cars that Toyota is donating will include two Priuses and three Highlanders (the Highlander is not as well-known as the Prius and is a hybrid SUV). The vehicles will be used for any number of tasks.
The donations are being officially made to the Grand Canyon Association. It is a non-profit that manages book stores and other operations in the park. It donates its profits back to the park and provides crucial funding for park projects and educational efforts.
Toyota’s gift to national parks is only one of the company’s many environmental philanthropy efforts. They also have given a $20 million grant to Audubon, as well as significant financial support to The Nature Conservancy and the National Arbor Day Foundation, among others. In 2007, Toyota gave a total of $56 million to philanthropic projects in the United States.
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