Alabama Power‘s Plant Barry Environmental Stewardship Team (BEST) is one of this year’s recipients of the Environmental Stewardship Award presented by Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) in Mobile.
BEST was honored for its work in restoring wood duck habitats in the Upper Delta Wildlife Management Area, a forested floodplain adjacent to the Alabama River. Employees from Plant Barry and Washington County Cogeneration Facility, with help from Theodore Cogeneration Plant, volunteered their time to build and install 20 wood duck nesting boxes.
“This project was done out of the care and concern your employees have for the natural resources that make this a wonderful place to live,” said PEP Executive Director Jennifer Denson. “What better example to other companies than what the BEST team is doing.”
The idea originated when wildlife biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources approached BEST for help. Wood ducks nest in cavities in mature trees, but the limited availability of nesting sites has historically limited wood duck breeding in Alabama. Matt Hornsby, Operations and Maintenance manager at Plant Barry, said BEST volunteers jumped into action, constructing the boxes and delivering them to the area.
“I think it just really shows the heart of our employees and their desire to impact the community and the environment,” Hornsby said. “They have numerous projects that they do and this is just one of them. We’re very proud of this one and we really like the results that we’ve had.”
The award to BEST was one of seven presented by PEP at its annual membership meeting and environmental awards presentation Sept. 24. Other award recipients include:
- AM/NS Calvert for their Wildlife Habitat and Biodiversity Improvement Program.
- APM Terminal for their greenhouse gases reduction project.
- Aker Solutions for their carbon footprint reduction project.
- BASF for their pollinator garden and outdoor classroom.
- Evonik for their waste minimization program.
- Volkert for their work to stabilize Tiawasee Creek.
“Fifteen years ago the PEP Board of Directors established the Environmental Stewardship Award to recognize PEP members whose work has made a positive contribution to the Gulf Coast region in three crucial areas: economic growth, environmental health and social responsibility,” Denson said. “We hope these projects inspire other companies to do their own projects and to educate the community that local industry is not the bad guy, but instead has a vested in preserving clean air and water.”