TORRANCE, Calif., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota and the Wyland Foundation are proud to congratulate the winners of the 2012 Earth Month Heroes, a Southern California program created by the organizations to annually recognize 30 exemplary citizens who find ground-breaking ways to work toward sustaining a healthy planet. The Wyland Foundation, Toyota and regional broadcast partner KCBS / KCAL will make donations of $250 on behalf of the Earth Month Heroes to deserving organizations in Southern California, with a $1,000 grand prize donation, to support local conservation efforts. For the full list of Earth Month Heroes, visit http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/earth-month-heroes/. This is the second year of Earth Month Heroes in Southern California. Individuals of all ages from the areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura counties, north San Diego County and the Inland Empire were selected by the Wyland Foundation after an open nomination process by neighbors, colleagues and peers throughout February and March for their environmental achievements. The 2012 grand prize winner is Dency Nelson, an early local organizer of activities during the first Earth Day in 1970. Nelson was chosen for his lifetime efforts to raise the profile of sustainable living in urban environments, and is a founding member of Plug In America, a non-profit public charity that promotes emissions-free driving. "Toyota is honored to support the 2012 Earth Month Heroes, all of whom are demonstrating how one person truly can make a difference to help our planet," said Michael Rouse, vice president of philanthropy and community affairs for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "We salute their efforts, and encourage others to follow their lead by finding impactful ways to preserve our environment and natural resources." "We received so many incredible nominees for the Earth Month Heroes program this year, it was difficult to select 30," said artist Wyland. "We're delighted to celebrate their environmental spirit by making donations in their names, and also thank Toyota and KCBS/KCAL for their support – their contributions have helped us generate awareness about the importance of conservation to protect our environment both for today and the future."