Kids Help GM Build a Wildlife Habitat

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Kids Help GM Build a Wildlife Habitat

Planting Event Part of GM’s ‘Learn It, Live It’ Day at GM Tonawanda Facility
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Friday, June 14, 2013 - 3:45pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Resource Preservation

CONTENT: Press Release

BUFFALO, N.Y., June 14, 2013 /3BL Media/ - GM’s Tonawanda Engine facility will be closer to its goal of establishing a wildlife habitat on its property thanks to the planting efforts of 100 students. Hundreds of shrub and plant seedlings will help transform a brownfield space into a green buffer that will soon provide home to pollinators and other creatures.

Today’s activity is part of GM’s “Learn It, Live It” day, a program enabling students to meet environmental professionals and participate in hands-on sustainability efforts. This habitat development marks the first time students will contribute to GM Tonawanda’s sustainability goals, which includes wildlife habitat certification by mid-2014.

The experience serves as the culmination to months of learning about water quality through GREEN (Global River Environmental Education Network), a program in which GM partners with the nonprofit Earth Force, environmental organization Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education, and area schools to help youth understand how their actions impact local watersheds. For two years running, volunteers from the UAW/GM Tonawanda facility mentor students while testing water quality around Buffalo. Last year, 41 GM sites participated in GREEN nationwide, engaging more than 10,000 students.

“Allowing our students to make discoveries about their environment through hands-on learning makes a powerful impact,” says Kate Hilliman, executive director of Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education. “Not only are students gaining science knowledge, they are interacting with professionals in the field and making connections to the practical application of what they are learning in the classroom.”

To complement the emerging habitat, GM also will build bat houses made from scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers. GM created the design to keep the hard-to-recycle material out of landfills while also benefiting wildlife. It has installed 250 throughout Michigan, Ohio and New York to date. The houses help to combat dwindling brown bat populations.

“This day enables us to enhance students’ understanding of conservation and show how they can reduce their environmental impact,” said Miguel Antonetti, environmental supervisor at GM Tonawanda.  “In addition to the planting activity, students will learn about our landfill-free manufacturing processes and how we recycle and reuse all of our daily waste.”

Participants include students from Southside Elementary, Frank A. Sedita Elementary, and South Park High School. Prior to today’s event, Tonawanda Engine also hosted in this same program 200 other students from Riverside High School, Charter School of Applied Technologies High School, Canisius Academic Talent Search Program, Willie Hutch Jones Educational Program and the Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns.

GM manages more than 2,500 acres of wildlife habitat throughout 25 sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council—more than any other automaker. It has committed to develop a certified wildlife habitat at each of its manufacturing facilities where feasible by 2020. For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.


About Tonawanda Engine
Tonawanda is currently building the Ecotec 2.0L Turbo (WardsAuto 10 Best Engine List Winner), and 2.5L (4-cyl.) engines that power the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and the 2013 Cadillac ATS and future 2014 Cadillac CTS.  The plant is also ramping up to build a 4.3L EcoTec V6, 5.3L EcoTec V8 and a 6.2L EcoTec V8 for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, as well as the 6.2L V8 LT1 2014 Corvette Stingray engine.

About General Motors
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at

Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education | Earth Force | GM GREEN | GM Wildlife | Learn It | Live It Day | Tonawanda Engine Plant

CAMPAIGN: GM Resource Preservation

CONTENT: Press Release