Executives from Toyota Motor North America Research & Development in York Township were on hand at the grand opening of their new Supplier Center and Prototype Development facility to unveil more than just their new facility. Toyota’s commitment to the community was a key element in the day’s events.

One of the donations presented will help connect communities, provide greater access, and facilitate mobility, all corporate priorities for Toyota. Their $50,000 gift helps complete the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Trail, finishing a 6-year project to connect Matthaei Botanical Gardens with the Washtenaw County Border-to-Border Trail system.  The new two-mile, off-road paved trail parallel to Dixboro Rd. will connect the Matthaei Botanical Gardens to Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor downtowns as well as a network of cities, parks, trails, and schools in southeast Michigan. The trail will serve as an important resource for employees, residents and students in the region.

“Toyota R&D is proud to partner with Matthaei Botanical Gardens on this hiking/biking trail project that not only connects our local community but communities across the state of Michigan,” said Shinichi Yasui, President Executive Vice President TMNA R&D. “We have been contributing to local non-profit organizations for 40 years and look forward to many more years of partnering in the communities where we live and work.”

Up against a fundraising deadline, Karen Sikkenga, Associate Director of Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum was pleased that corporations made this trail a priority. She shares, “With only two weeks to close a half-million funding gap, we were very grateful to Toyota for stepping up with a $50,000 gift.  Without this and several other key generous gifts from individuals and corporate neighbors, the trail very well might never have gone forward.”

Toyota’s commitment to the community goes deeper than completing a trail. The company’s research investments and philanthropy at the University of Michigan support projects and students in the College of Engineering, the School of Public Health, Michigan Medicine, and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, among others.