Gulf Power employees celebrate Earth Day

Special to The Sun
Gulf Power volunteers from across the company helped build fences, repair the boardwalk, painted picnic tables and removed dead trees from hiking trails at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center last year. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

In celebration of Earth Day this year, employees of Gulf Power will spread out across the service footprint to clean up areas of Pensacola Beach and Okaloosa Island and enhance access to a public trail and to talk to the public about Gulf Power’s renewable energy sources and energy efficiency programs.

“Gulf Power employees will be investing their time and talents on Earth Day, just as they do throughout the year, improving our natural resources and access to them, so they’ll be in better shape for future generations,” said Kimberly Blair, Gulf Power spokesperson. “After all, our employees and customers live, work and play in one of the most biologically diverse regions in country.”

On April 19, a team of employees joined staff at the E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center on a 50,000-acre conservation land on the Nokuse Plantation in South Walton County to help with facility and trail maintenance as a way to support the important mission of the center.

Located on one of the nation’s ecological gems, a longleaf pine ecosystem considered the sixth most biodiverse area in the continental country, the Biophilia Center serves as a hands-on, environmental science classroom for five surrounding school districts — Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Holmes, and Washington counties. During the school year, more than 6,000 students annually, about 100 students a day, converge on the center for STEM-based curriculum.

“When you combine education and the environment, you can bet our Gulf Power Environmental Stewardship team wants to be involved,” Blair said. “That’s why the team has been volunteering at the Biophilia Center for a number of years, repairing boardwalks, painting picnic tables, building a fence and clearing out overgrown vegetation along with other projects to make sure the center’s staff can focus on fostering future conservationists.”