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Welcome!

As a social entrepreneur, I am dedicated to finding innovative solutions for greening business. As a passionate supporter of National Parks and public lands, I work toward protecting these special places from the impacts of climate change and pollution.

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Join me on this site as I report from Yellowstone on the threats climate change poses toward our beloved national parks, and how Yellowstone and other parks are making a difference in sustainability.

"If we continue to increase our emissions of heat-trapping gases, a disrupted climate will cause the greatest damage to our national parks ever."
Stephen Saunders

"A climate disrupted by human activities poses such sweeping threats to the
scenery, natural and cultural resources, and wildlife of the West’s national parks that it
dwarfs all previous risks to these American treasures."
From NRDC Losing Ground Report

"Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environmental and social degradation."
Paul Hawken
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01/12/11: "The End of the Wild," Emma Marris, Nature

01/06/11: Climate change threatens Sierra, delta, group says," Kelly Zito, San Francisco Chronicle

01/05/11"Environmentalists pick Snake Basin, Yellowstone among most threatened habitats by climate change," Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

12/31/10"Yellowstone Grizzlies and the Betrayal of the Public Trust," Louisa Wilcox, NRDC Switchboard

12/26/10: "How a Tiny Beetle Could Decimate Yellowstone," Elizabeth Shogren, NPR

12/21/10: "Once upon a time, whitebark pine . . ." Matt Skoglund, NRDC Switchboard

12/21/10: "Climate Change's threat to the wolverine," Rebecca Waters, High Country News

12/08/10: "Silence of the Pikas, Part II," Wendee Holtcamp, Adventures in Climate Change and Bioscience

12/08/10: "Climate Change Response Strategy Released by NPS Alaska," Alaska Business Monthly

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  • Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    by Larry J. Schweiger
  • Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
    Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
    by Anthony D. Barnosky
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    by Bill McKibben
  • Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
    Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
    by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    by James Hansen
  • Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference (Chelsea Green Guides)
    Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference (Chelsea Green Guides)
    by Jon Clift, Amanda Cuthbert
  • Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
    Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
    by Al Gore
  • The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 2nd Edition
    The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 2nd Edition
    by Robert Henson
Main | Climate change is threatening some of the best-protected places on the planet »
Sunday
Feb132011

Toyota invests in Yellowstone’s future with the Yellowstone Park Foundation 

Toyota donated a million dollars to the construction of the new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center (Photo: Beth Pratt) When eager park visitors gather roadside to admire a grizzly bear or a bison herd in Yellowstone, a traffic jam often ensues. When park rangers arrive on scene to help clear the jam, they don’t drive the usual generic law enforcement sedan. Instead they arrive in an energy-efficient hybrid vehicle, decorated with images of wildlife and fun animal facts—and donated by Toyota Motor Sales, USA., Inc.

“For us, there is a real benefit of being able to touch the millions of people that come to Yellowstone National Park each year with our sustainable vehicles. It’s great to know that we are making a difference for both the park and the environment,” says Mary Nickerson, National Manager of Advance Technology Vehicles for Toyota.

The donation of the hybrid vehicles is just one of the many investments that Toyota is making in Yellowstone’s future through a partnership with the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the park’s official fundraising entity.

Toyota’s commitment to protecting Yellowstone has been ongoing says Karen Bates Kress, President of the Foundation: “Toyota has been a steadfast partner to the Yellowstone Park Foundation for several years. It all started with the donation of hybrid vehicles, but their support has expanded to be so much more, including a major investment in education programs for tomorrow’s park stewards. Their generosity not only made the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center possible, but also helped us make the building a model of eco-friendly design and function.”

Last summer, Toyota’s President & COO James E. Lentz traveled to Yellowstone to attend the special dedication ceremony for the Old Faithful Education Center. Toyota funded a million dollar grant for the construction of the center and also provided the impetus and resources that enabled the project to reach a higher level of LEED certification than originally planned. As Lentz explains, “LEED is part of our company’s environmental philosophy. All of our new building planning involves LEED. It doesn’t make business sense today to invest in facilities if they are not LEED certified.”

More importantly for Lentz, the center also creates opportunities to develop future environmental leaders and protectors of Yellowstone. “The new center is phenomenal. And what I like most is how it’s getting young people more excited about the environment, and making them better stewards as well.”

To the goal of education and leadership development, Toyota has also made a nearly million-dollar donation to the Foundation to support the development of interpretive programs in Yellowstone. This funding allows initiatives to continue through 2012. The car company is also lending its expertise in sustainability to the park to help Yellowstone develop a more comprehensive environmental plan for the future.

All of these efforts are adding up to a more sustainable future for Yellowstone. And Nickerson affirms that her company will continue with its commitment to preserve the world's first national park.  “When it comes to the environment, every little bit counts. We are working with the Park to show visitors and employees what they can do to help protect the environment.”

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