Toyota Motor North America
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Certified Gold through 2022
Tree Swallow - Tachycineta bicolor
New Pollinator Gardens
Removal of English Ivy
Monarch Butterfly - Danaus pleexippus
Removal of Perwinkle -Vinca difformis
American Lady Butterfly - Vanessa virginiensis
Biodiversity Week - Earth Month 2018
Awareness & Community Engagement
About the Program
The Toyota Motor North America Cambridge Plant is an urban facility in Cambridge, Ontario, approximately 60 miles west of Toronto. Approximately 30 acres have been set aside for grassland habitat and bird conservation, plus some additional acreage closer to the plant for native landscaping with plantings for pollinators. The team’s objectives are to support wildlife populations such as pollinators and cavity-nesting songbirds by replacing non-native vegetation with native plantings that provide wildlife with foraging and nesting habitat. The team also educates employees and visitors about biodiversity and pollinators through on-premises signage and educational events.
Practices and Impacts
- In 2018, the team installed new pollinator gardens at the facility. These landscaped beds are located at the front entrances and include a variety of mostly native nectar plants, as well as several butterfly host plants like spicebush, milkweed and pearly everlasting. The habitat now has over 1,800 well-established plants, which employees and contractors monitor and maintain throughout the year.
- The team provides habitat for monarch butterflies by planting milkweed (the larval host plant for monarchs), as well as many native nectar-producing plants. The facility has hundreds of naturally occurring common milkweed plants in its grasslands, as well as planted butterfly milkweed specimens in the pollinator gardens. Employees monitor these areas for monarch caterpillars and adults and have observed them on-site each year.
- The Cambridge team has provided habitat for the American lady butterfly by planting almost 50 pearly everlasting plants, which are ones of the larval host plants for this species. Employees monitor the gardens for the presence of American lady butterflies and have documented them using the gardens. They have even recorded videos of adult females laying their eggs on the host plants and have observed new caterpillars feeding on the plants.
- In November 2017, the team worked to remove periwinkle and English ivy growing in the landscaped beds to reduce and control the presence of these invasive species. They replanted the area with native plantings for pollinators. The team continues to check the area annually, removing any regrowth.
- Toyota Cambridge originally installed six nest boxes for cavity nesting birds in May 2016, with the goal of providing nesting habitat for tree swallows. The team replaced all six nest boxes with new ones in 2019 and now partners with the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society (OEBS) to monitor the boxes. They use the OEBS protocol to monitor the boxes weekly between May and July, checking for the presence of nests, eggs and fledglings. The boxes have successfully attracted tree swallows to use them and 12 baby tree swallows fledged from the boxes in 2019.
- The Cambridge team celebrated Earth Month in 2018 with an on-site Biodiversity Week. The event included educational events focused on teaching employees how to create native bee habitat in their own backyards. There were also seed giveaways and those who could not attend in person had the opportunity to participate in educational activities online. The event was a huge success, with hundreds of employees participating. About 7 pounds of pure seed (equivalent to over 2000 seed packets) were distributed.
- In 2018, the team designed, created and installed educational signage about the plants in the pollinator gardens on site. These colorful signs provide information about the names of the plants, their wildlife benefits, bloom times and more. The project was created in response to requests from employees and visitors to learn more about the pollinator plantings and identify which plants they could utilize in their own gardens.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY