READERS' VIEWS: Toyota truly gives back to the earth

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To the editor,

I don’t blame any citizen, farmer, or organization that accepts money from the proposed pipeline, but it feels like our community is being bought out with grand promises of jobs (temporary), economic opportunity and high safety standards.

(Google: pipeline explosions).

I speak as someone whose farm is crossed by two pipelines, and I have yet to see a positive environmental impact from either of the companies.

However, there are local, tried and true companies that do produce permanent jobs, economic contributions and environmental awareness.

I visited one with my ESL (English as a Second Language) class on Sunday, March 23, at Toyoda Gosei in Lebanon. We joined 4,014 other volunteers to plant 35,000 trees. I was sure an extra “0” had been mistakenly added to the number, but that is exactly how many trees we planted in one hour. It was one of the most amazing, well organized and fun projects l have ever attended.

The company thought of every detail to make our brief time easier. They provided shuttle buses from the parking lots. Every volunteer was given a back pack containing a bottle of water, a cap, new gloves, a snack, some hand wipes and even a dual purpose plastic bag that we first sat on during the ceremony, and later used for muddy shoes. There were new shovels, trowels and water containers for more than 200 teams.

After short speeches by company executives, including Mr. Atsushi Goto, president of TGKY, Lebanon, and state Sen. Jimmy Higdon, professor Akira Miyawaki of Yokohama University in Japan, took the stage. His method of tree planting has resulted in 40 million trees added to our planet worldwide. Toyoda Gosei’s Plant Afforestation Project began in 2009, with a target of 600,000 trees to be planted in their many locations.

TGKY, Lebanon, has proven their commitment to their community. The new forest will anchor the soil, while providing beauty, habitat, shade and oxygen. Rather than taking from each, TGKY is giving back to the earth. Good job!

To you, Toyota Gosei, Mr. Goto,, and all the employees of TGKY, I say ,“arigatou gozaimasu.”

Thank you for showing us the way companies can impact communities in a tangible, visible, positive way.

Gail Hart

4611 Louisville Road