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GM and Students Plant Seeds of Sustainability at Tonawanda Engine

SOURCE: General Motors


General Motors’ Tonawanda Engine facility in New York is now closer to its goal of establishing a wildlife habitat on its property thanks to the planting efforts of 100 students. Local elementary and high school students recently helped our facility transform a brownfield space (the former GM Foundry), into a green buffer that will soon provide home to pollinators and other creatures.

The planting was part of Tonawanda’s “Learn It, Live It” day, a program enabling students to meet environmental professionals and participate in hands-on sustainability efforts. This habitat development marks the first time students will contribute to the facility’s sustainability goals, which includes wildlife habitat certification by mid-2014.

GM manages more than 2,500 acres of wildlife habitat throughout 25 sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council—more than any other automaker. We have committed to develop a certified wildlife habitat at each of our manufacturing facilities where feasible by 2020.

“This day enabled us to enhance students’ understanding of conservation and show how they can reduce their environmental impact,” said Miguel Antonetti, environmental supervisor at GM Tonawanda.  “In addition to the planting activity, students learned about our landfill-free manufacturing processes and how we recycle and reuse all of our daily waste.”

“Learn It, Live It” day was the culmination to months of learning about water quality through GREEN (Global River Environmental Education Network), a program in which GM partners with the nonprofit Earth Force, community organizations and area schools to help youth understand how their actions impact local watersheds. Volunteers from the UAW/GM Tonawanda facility have mentored students while testing water quality around Buffalo for the past two years. Last year, 41 facilities participated in GM GREEN nationwide, engaging more than 10,000 students.

Kate Hilliman, executive director of Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education believes that allowing students to make discoveries about their environment through hands-on learning makes a powerful impact.

”Not only are students gaining science knowledge, they are interacting with professionals in the field and making connections to the practical application of what they are learning in the classroom,” she said.

Tweet me: Wildlife habitat close to reality at General Motors’ Tonawanda Engine facility in NY with help of students. @GM

Contact Info:

General Motors

KEYWORDS: Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education, Earth Force, GM GREEN, Tonawanda Engine, UAW, wildlife habitat, Wildlife Habitat Council

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