Over 250 employees from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc. volunteered their time to work on park projects on September 17th in honor of National Public Lands Day.
Natchez Trace Parkway maintenance, protection, fire, and interpretation staff supervised a variety of projects. Most volunteers assisted parkway staff with the manual removal of the non-native plant species Ligustrum sinens, commonly known as Chinese or European privet. This invasive exotic rapidly crowds out native plant species and has a negative impact on the parkway’s natural resources. Over a period of several hours, Toyota team members manually removed two acres of privet.
Other Toyota team members removed 90 feet of dilapidated split rail fencing and repainted 80 feet of hand rails and 300 square feet of exhibit shelters. Volunteers also removed debris from the 20,000-square-foot Beech Springs Outdoor Classroom.
Toyota team children created a 30-foot-wide "thank you" banner from the Natchez Trace Parkway to Toyota and participated in nature walks and interpretive programs. The parkway presented Masafumi Hamaguchi, president of Toyota’s Mississippi operation, with a framed photograph of the park taken by renowned photographer Marc Muench.