Press Release

December 12, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today joined the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to announce a $3 million grant by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. to the Foundation to improve the capacity of community-based organizations supporting parks and other public lands.

Senator Cardin and the NEEF were joined by U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and other officials for the announcement. This public-private partnership, consistent with President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, comes at a time when public lands are in need of financial and volunteer support.

 “I want to thank Toyota for showing all of us how a strong public-private partnership can help preserve and support public parks and lands across our nation,” said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife.  “Toyota’s $3 million contribution to the National Environmental Education Foundation will help protect our public lands for future generations.”

“We’re glad to see partnerships like these coming together to support our public parks and the lands that the American people value,” said EPA Administrator Jackson. “America’s great outdoors –from our city parks to our wildlife reserves—play an important role in the strength of our communities. The Obama administration has made it a priority to reconnect the American people with the recreational, economic and health benefits of being outdoors, and we’re grateful for the many partners who are coming together to serve the same priorities.”

“The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative supports communities that are working to protect, restore and promote the parks and public lands and waters that they cherish. Public-private partnerships such as this one between Toyota and the National Environmental Education Foundation are a critical tool to help communities achieve their conservation priorities and preserve and protect our nation’s extraordinary natural and cultural heritage,” said Environment Quality Chair Sutley.”