The Barry Environmental Stewardship Team (B.E.S.T.) was created as an effort to get Barry Steam Plant employees more engaged in environmental awareness and progress.
The B.E.S.T. is passionate about environmental conservation efforts, community stewardship, and making a difference in the plant and our service community. The team set up an aluminum can recycling program at Plant Barry, installed wood duck boxes around the plant site, and held a bike collection for the Delta Bike Project based in Mobile, Alabama. The B.E.S.T. volunteered their time in area projects such as Renew Our Rivers, the Alabama Coastal Clean Up, and the Mobile County Water Festival sponsored by the Alabama Coastal Foundation. The team has spent countless hours collecting trash from the roadsides near the plant, building a barn, a boardwalk, and planting long leaf pines at Splinter Hill Bog, landscaping and repairing picnic benches at Meaher State Park, and landscaping and maintenance on animal enclosures at the Environmental Studies Center. The B.E.S.T. has participated with the Mobile County Recycling Center by spending time sorting recyclables at the center.
The B.E.S.T. has gone a step further in creating “Environmental Stewardship Day” at Barry Steam Plant. Employees can learn about conservation efforts from organizations along the Gulf Coast where the B.E.S.T. volunteer time, as well as internal groups and vendors to display their efforts in environmental stewardship throughout Southern Company.
The team has also taken used pallets and hard hats and repurposed them into birdhouses, candle holders, picture frames, planters, and other popular items and auctioned them off to the highest bidder to raise money for the Environmental Studies Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Program in Mobile, Alabama. Each year the amount rises, with the 2017 total surpassing $2000.
The growth of the Barry Environmental Stewardship Team is a true testament to the passion our employees and the team’s chair, Paige Aplin, have for stewardship efforts in the communities in which we live and serve. The B.E.S.T. continues to demonstrate the Company’s core values while teaching why it is vital to maintain a clean environment and protect coastal ecosystems to increase the quality of life for area residents.