TROY - A project to restore wetlands and remove non-native plants at Troy University's Janice Hawkins Park is one of 10 projects in the region recognized recently by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Alabama Power and its parent company Southern Company.
The project, "Persimmon Branch Wetlands Enhancement," was awarded a grant under the Five Star and Urban Waters program in 2013 and was recognized during a Region 4 ceremony at the Sam Nunn Federal Center in Atlanta. Mark Salmon, director of the University's Physical Plant, served as director of the project, and Dr. Jim Bookout, Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business Affairs, served as co-director.
The Five Star and Urban Waters Program develops and supports community stewardship of local natural resources in cities and towns across the country. The program funds projects that will preserve these resources for future generations while at the same time enhance habitat for local wildlife. Projects seek to address water quality issues in priority watersheds, such as erosion due to unstable stream banks, pollution from stormwater runoff and degraded shorelines caused by development.
"This was a great opportunity to share what Troy University is doing to preserve our natural resources," said Salmon, who attended the ceremony and received the plaque on behalf of the University. "I thought it was very beneficial to meet with our partners who are working closely with us in our efforts. They know, as we do at TROY, that our work today is really how we pass along these resources as a gift to the next generation."
Regional EPA Administrator Heather McTeer Toney said projects such as TROY's play a significant role in the local area.
"Watershed and stream restoration projects play a significant role in improving public health, providing additional recreational opportunities and boosting local economies," said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney. "Work by grant awardees is essential to protecting and restoring these valuable resources and keeping our lakes, rivers and streams clean."
The Five Star and Urban Waters Program is a partnership among the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Association of Counties, the Wildlife Habitat Council, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Alabama Power and its parent company Southern Company, FedEx, Pacific Gas and Electric, Alcoa Foundation and Bank of America.
About Janice Hawkins Park
Named for Troy University's First Lady, Janice Hawkins Park covers 23-acres on the Troy Campus and was developed to provide additional green space. The park, stretching along the north entrance to campus from University Avenue to Madison Street, includes seating areas, walkways surround by plants and sculptures, an amphitheater, walking trails, natural wooded areas, the lagoon and a pond.