Toyota announced today it is donating $1 million to build a new Yellowstone Youth Campus.
According to a Toyota press release, the automaker will donate the funds to the Yellowstone Park Foundation to create “a home for immersive youth programming in the park, creating a place of learning for future generations and conservationists and a pretty cool hang-out to share experiences.”
You can see photos of the proposed Campus above, as well as below. The campus plans were designed by Hennebery Eddy Architects of Portland, Oregon.
The new Yellowstone Youth Campus will be one of the first buildings in a national park to receive the “Living Building Challenge Certification,” which is billed as “one of the most rigorous environmental building certifications in the world.” From a Toyota press release:
“The new Yellowstone Youth Campus is an opportunity to support the conservation principles of the National Park Service while reinforcing Toyota’s commitment to the environment,” said Toyota Motor North America Environmental General Manager Kevin Butt. “We hope this environmental learning center will inspire and empower future leaders in building a more culturally aware, ecologically responsible and regenerative future.”
While the campus expands, the environmental footprint is expected to shrink with pursuit of the Living Building Challenge. The buildings are designed to significantly reduce energy use through high-performance insulation and windows, natural ventilation, and other passive measures. Planned photovoltaic arrays on-site will provide more than 100 percent of campus energy needs, creating excess energy for the grid. One hundred percent of water used on campus will be locally sourced and all wastewater will be treated on-site for reuse. The design prioritizes a healthy indoor environment by using only non-toxic and low VOC building materials and furnishings. Once complete, the campus will serve as a new benchmark for National Park Service projects.
It also will serve as the home of two youth programs, each with a national reach – Expedition Yellowstone and the Youth Conservation Corps. Expedition Yellowstone provides week-long residential experiences for grade school-aged children with a focus on disadvantaged populations, while the Youth Conservation Corps offers a one-month immersive summer program for high-school students. Replacing the existing Youth Conservation Corps campus, the new youth campus will be able to serve twice the current student capacity with the addition of four classrooms, residential buildings and staff housing on-site.
Toyota has donated to Yellowstone before (most notably, they donated $1 million to the YPF to help build the new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center), and previously collaborated with the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, donating a set of hybrid car batteries that were eventually integrated into the Ranch’s new renewable energy array.