Alabama Power’s Plant Barry Environmental Stewardship Team (BEST) constructed and installed twenty wood duck boxes. BEST members meet monthly on a voluntary basis to plan and implement projects that raise environmental awareness and promote stewardship in the community.
“Environmental stewardship has long been a hallmark of Alabama Power,” said Elizabeth Thomas, manager of external affairs and a board member with Partners for Environmental Progress. “At Plant Barry, the [BEST] group has done an incredible job of partnering with groups around the area.”
“This year we wanted to get involved with people on the animal side,” said Whitney Corgill chemical technician at Plant Barry and chair of the Environmental Stewardship Team. BEST partnered with wildlife biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources who identified the wood duck as a target species.
Wood ducks nest in cavities in mature trees. The availability of nesting sites has historically limited wood duck breeding in Alabama. Fortunately, the wood duck readily takes to nest boxes to lay eggs and raise their young.
BEST members partnered with employees from Washington County and Cogen Co-Generation Plants to build the boxes. One of the side benefits of BEST are the relationships forged between employees from different facilities. This helps forge a “one team mindset,” said Nik Bundy, Plant Barry manager.
The team installed the boxes in the Upper Delta Wildlife Management Area, a forested floodplain adjacent to the Alabama River.
“Wood duck boxes are a long-term commitment,” said Corgill. The team plans to continue partnering with Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to clean and maintain the boxes and collect data on egg hatching.