Water, Earth, Sky

Scott Shenk writes about the environment.

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New, greener ride on the way for river friends

It pays to have lots of friends. Friends of the Rappahannock  found out in August that it was  among 100 non-profits to win a new Toyota Hybrid Hylander in the company’s  100 Cars for Good program. The winners were chosen based on votes from the public, and FOR got the word out to its 2,000 members and friends. FOR was profiled on Toyota’s Facebook page on Aug. 19.  The river-protection group had been using a donated gas-guzzler as a utility vehicle,  and jumped at the chance to get a greener one.  They’ll pick up the keys  at Rosner Toyota on Nov. 28.

“The outpouring of support and interest in the [program] has been tremendous, Michael Rouse, Toyota VP of philanthropy and community affairs, said in a press release. “It is amazing to see how this program has brought individuals, organizations and communities together. We are equally excited to see Friends of the Rappahannock utilize their new vehicle to do good in the community.”

 FOR Executive Director John Tippett says the Highlander will come in handy, since  the organization covers an area of about 2,700 square miles. “We have tree plantings, stream bank restorations and living shoreline construction projects all throughout this watershed.” The fuel-efficient hybrid, which can carry a load and tow, “is perfect for us, and we simply couldn’t have obtained one without Toyota’s help,”  Tippett said. Two other non-profits in Virginia are also getting new Highlanders: Comfort Zone Camp in Richmond, and the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick and Clarke counties.  Nationally, there were 500 finalists. Here’s a  list of the winners.