Toyota Indiana Afforestation Project: Toyota Builds a Forest
Nearly sixteen years ago, Toyota Indiana plant president, Seizo Okamoto (who has since stepped down), announced his dream of constructing a large nature trail right next to the childcare facility on site. Thus began the Toyota Indiana afforestation project; what began as a simple dream has at long last become a beautiful reality.
The forest started out with just 10,000 saplings of seventeen native species. These were planted along a one mile loop to form the nature trail for the children. Then, five years ago, the project became much bigger. More than 90,000 trees have been planted in these last five years, and Toyota plans to reach the final goal of 125,000 by the end of next year.
While the majority of the planting was done by mechanical equipment (for speed), perhaps the most heartening part of the story is that Toyota Indiana associates—and their families—gave up their time to help plant trees as well. Together, they planted nearly 1,000 trees in just a few hours.
“The goal of sustainable growth that is in harmony with the environment is part of our Global Vision,” commented Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) President, Norm Bafunno. “TMMI is proud to support and enhance the communities where we live and work through environmental stewardship of our land, community service and environmental education programs we offer to our local school children each year.”
With their hard work and dedication to Okamoto’s dream, the forest has grown to 160 acres and now serves as a home for native animals, like red-tailed hawks and white-tailed deer. (Did we mention Indiana is a state in which everything is identified by the color of its tail?)