Toyota And Audubon Ask Drivers To Exit The Highway This Summer

New initiative encourages Americans to pledge to spend more time in nature and to visit scenic locations for chance to win a new Toyota Prius v

NEW YORK, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Have you taken an animal safari in Texas? Checked out the "Love Motel for Insects" in New York?  Toyota and the National Audubon Society are teaming up this summer to ask Americans to Exit the Highway and pledge to spend more time taking scenic roads to nature. The campaign, which highlights nearly 100 nature destinations in more than 60 cities, is also rewarding nature seekers. For every initial pledge and for every photo of a nature stop shared online at ExitTheHighway.com, participants are entered to win a Toyota Prius v, a new evolution in hybrid vehicles with more cargo space and Prius' heritage of environmental performance and fuel economy.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120628/DC30344LOGO )

At ExitTheHighway.com, road trip itineraries offer inspiration for a day outdoors or an unexpected stop on your next road trip. From coast to coast, people can choose the destinations most appealing to them, map an itinerary to suit their travel plans and use the itineraries as fun ways to meet up with friends and family. Drivers not near a highlighted city or region can suggest their own local nature spots to the Exit the Highway community by uploading a photo of their favorite nature location at ExitTheHighway.com.

"Exit the Highway is a beautifully simple idea. Take an hour, change your routine, and spend a little time with friends and family outdoors," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold. "You may discover something that will touch your heart or teach you something new, and you'll find out who's working to save it. And then you'll be back for more."

The itineraries include a special focus on conservation projects from TogetherGreen, a
$20 million initiative created by Toyota and the National Audubon Society to foster diverse environmental leadership and fund innovative conservation ideas. These projects offer a close-up view of how leaders are engaging communities in conservation efforts.  

To start planning a nature adventure, take the pledge at ExitTheHighway.com, or Causes.com/Toyota. In addition to taking the pledge, the Exit the Highway website also allows travelers to:

  • Earn bonus entries into the Toyota Prius v sweepstakes by sharing photos tagged with #exitthehighway via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts or manually uploading photos at ExitTheHighway.com.
  • Explore nearly 100 nature destinations (70 of which are free to the public) along with a link to details and hours of operation.
  • See itineraries that utilize Google Maps for point-to-point directions.
  • Recommend favorite nature stops in your area to other nature seekers.
  • Get personal recommendations from local leaders with a passion for caring for the environment.

"We need highways to get us to our destinations, but we're encouraging you to take the roads less traveled as you drive," said Pat Pineda, Group Vice President, National Philanthropy and the Toyota Foundation. "What lies just beyond a highway exit can be a very rich, memorable experience in nature. We're hoping Exit the Highway sparks interest in conservation with travelers of all ages and also sheds a light on the many local heroes who are advocating for our planet."

For more information, itineraries and sweepstakes rules, visit ExitTheHighway.com,  Causes.com/Toyota or Facebook.com/togethergreen.

About Audubon
Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at www.audubon.org.    

About Toyota
Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants and has a network of nearly 1,500 dealerships.  Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half-a-billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S. 

For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit  http://toyotainaction.com/community or toyota.com/community.

About TogetherGreen
Audubon and Toyota launched the $20 million TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to foster diverse environmental leadership and fund innovative conservation ideas. TogetherGreen funding recipients have helped protect 250 species of birds and other wildlife, improved 10,000 acres of habitat, mobilized 220,000 individuals, collected two million pounds of recyclables and captured $5 million worth of volunteer time. For more information, visit www.togethergreen.org.

Contacts: 
Brenda Timm (Audubon)   
212-979-3198 / btimm@audubon.org

Zoe Zeigler (Toyota)
212-714-7492 / zoe_zeigler@tma.toyota.com 

SOURCE Audubon



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