It’s not often you hear about large corporate players making significant contributions to sustainability efforts. That’s why we are so excited to learn about Toyota's project to protect honeybees and other pollinators.
With 21,000 acres of land in North America, they decided to put this acreage to good use by planting pollinator gardens. A number of sites, including those certified or applying for certification with the Wildlife Habitat Council, are already maintaining pollinator gardens, and more are on the way.
Here's a summarized version of the article that Miye Cox, a Cambridge/Woodstock, Ontario engineer with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc (TMMC) and associated with the project forwarded to us to share with our readers. The original version can be found here.
It helps that a number of Toyota facilities are located along the monarch’s migration pathway, from Canada in the north, through the U.S., to Mexico in the south.
A number of Toyota’s North American plants are developing monarch butterfly waystation habitats onsite and in the surrounding community. The waystations contain wildflowers and milkweed. Wildflowers provide nectar for the adults while milkweed serves as food and shelter for monarch larvae.
Toyota’s North American manufacturing headquarters (TEMA) in Erlanger, Kentucky, has a pollinator garden with a butterfly pond.
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) has two monarch waystations onsite and has supported our additional waystations in surrounding communities.
• Toyota Bodine Aluminum Tennessee (BAI), located in Jackson, worked with a landscaper to plant over an acre of Southeastern Wildflower mix. BAI is an aluminum casting facility that manufactures engine blocks for Toyota. The site’s biodiversity team is focusing on providing the essential habitat components for pollinators, birds, bats and other wildlife, as well as encouraging team members and the community to explore and learn more about native species.
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) has four pollinator gardens onsite. Team members are working on increasing the variety of native species in these gardens.
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (TMMMS) planted four pollinator gardens alongside two new pavilions built by team members. The pavilions include a number of sustainable features, including furniture made from recycled plastic, solar lighting and rain water harvesting. All of the gardens were certified by Monarch Watch as monarch waystations.
In Cambridge, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) has over 150 milkweed plants already established; additional wildflowers were planted this year to enhance pollinator habitat.
• In Woodstock, TMMC enhanced naturally occurring wildflower and milkweed growth by adding new wildflower mixes. Monarch butterflies and their caterpillars have been observed in these areas. Monarch larvae eat milkweed leaves as their first meal and use the plant for shelter as they grow. To increase awareness of the importance of monarch butterflies and other pollinators, team members created a new pollinator garden using both wildflower mixes and plants from the Canadian Wildlife Federation.