Toyota Motor North America
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas
san antonio, Texas, United States
Certified Gold through 2022
Feral Hog Management
Texas Size Grassland
Employee Conservation Engagement
Awareness & Community Engagement
Hidden Cove Elementary - Citizen Science
Monarch Way Station
About the Program
Toyota Motor Manufacturing encompasses 2,000 acres in San Antonio, Texas. The facility consists of manufacturing facilities and assembly lines to produce light duty trucks. The Toyota Corporation’s environmental objectives seek to ensure all their facilities operate in harmony with nature through promotion of biodiversity, conservation of pollinators, removal of invasive species and the education of their employees and local community. To support these objectives in San Antonio, there is a 76.36-acre native grassland managed to support native wildlife and pollinator species, a 0.7-acre landscaped pollinator garden and efforts to exclude the invasive feral hog. Education opportunities for the local community are provided through Earth Day events, an outdoor pollinator demonstration garden and engagement with local partners.
Practices and Impacts
- The newly created 0.7-acre Texas native pollinator garden replaced grass with native wildflowers and shrubs to support pollinators and wildlife, with particular interest given to monarch butterfly populations.
- The pollinator garden used assessments from Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists on the design, soil and plants selected. Weekly maintenance is conducted by Maldonado Landscapers.
- Team members have participated in monitoring at least twice a year, utilizing online sources like iNaturalist to record observations of pollinator species. Observations of native plants, particularly milkweed and purple coneflower, are emphasized because of their importance to the declining monarch butterfly population. On one monitoring day in October 2019, the team observed almost 200 individual monarch butterflies, as well as an additional 23 species of butterfly.
- Invasive feral hogs are trapped throughout the entire property by LMR Hog Trappers to support Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s commitment to invasive species control. The traps are moved every two weeks based on remote camera observations that inform on areas where feral hogs are likely to be.
- The team members collected data on the hogs, and the quantity trapped, to share with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and other agencies. They continue utilizing effective methods to manage the invasive and destructive population.
- The site also controls for invasive plants like mesquite tree populations.
- The 76.36-acre grassland replaced low habitat value on site with an abundance of native Texas forbs and grasses to support pollinators and other wildlife species. Species present include silver bluestem grass, common sunflower and Texas bluebell. The grassland is managed with adaptive mowing occurring once a year.
- Vegetation monitoring occurs at least once a year through vegetation transects. The monitoring is performed by a team member alongside a Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist who provides quantitative data. Pollinator surveys are done through visual observation and recorded onto the iNaturalist app.
- The grassland serves as a monarch butterfly waystation, providing the necessary resources as monarchs traverse the region. Monitoring by team members occurs twice a year, as well as during a monarch-tagging event with partner participation from Audubon Mitchell Lake.
- The team members supported educational events at the landscaped pollinator demonstration garden to tag monarchs, record pollinator observations and conduct hands-on learning activities with the local community. These community events promote a broader understanding of biodiversity and conservation. Partners such as Texas Parks and Wildlife, the San Antonio Zoo and the Bracken Conservation Initiative assisted in the educational events through technical advice and educational programs.
- Starting in 2019, the team implemented a Formal Learning project for educating third graders from Hidden Cove Elementary on pollinators and their importance. The team worked with the school's STEM coordinator to develop the curriculum and the San Antonio Zoo facilitated the event with five learning stations. Students toured the garden, planted native wildflowers and played interactive games to learn about pollinators.
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