AEP Ohio is proud of its strong commitment to environmental responsibility. We invite to you spend some time at the environmental section of our corporate web site to learn more.
You'll find information about AEP's environmental performance as well as our efforts with renewables and energy efficiency. You'll also learn more about some very exciting environmental educational programs, and how we're helping students better understand the issues.
AEP participates in Ohio wildlife area cleanup
American Electric Power (AEP) has again partnered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife -- this time to initiate a cleanup effort on the newly opened Poston Wildlife Area in Athens County in southeastern Ohio.
AEP and ODNR employees clean up debris at the Poston Wildlife Area just north of Athens, Ohio.
Photo By: AEP Forestry and Recreation Assets.
The area is located just south of Nelsonville and east of Athens, Ohio. See ODNR´s website for a map and more information on the Poston Wildlife Area.
Recently, crews removed approximately 1,000 discarded tires and nearly 16 tons of trash from the area.
Fourteen ODNR and AEP Forestry and Recreation Assets employees participated in the effort.
"We are pleased to cooperate with ODNR on this program," said Dean Berry, AEP Forestry and Recreation Assets supervisor. "The 2,300 acres of the Poston Wildlife Area are still owned by AEP, but we greatly appreciate ODNR´s management of the property for public use."
"AEP has put forth a tremendous amount of work to make this area open for public use," stated Jim Marshall, Wildlife District Manager for southeast Ohio. "The Division of Wildlife is committed to protecting and maintaining our wildlife agreement areas as if they were state property."
The trash removal effort in the area has been well-received by the public. Marshall commented that the Wildlife District Office in Athens has received several calls expressing appreciation for cleanup efforts.
Most of the debris removed from the site is the result of illegal trash dumping. ODNR encourages citizens to report instances of illegal dumping on its managed properties. The number to call is the Turn-In-A-Poacher Hotline at 1-800-POACHER.
The Poston Wildlife Area management agreement took effect in October 2006. The area, which is the site of Columbus Southern Power´s former Poston Generating Station, is open to the public by permit for hunting, trapping, fishing and wildlife watching.
Outdoor Lab Built for School
AEP Ohio´s Jerry Osborne, line mechanic A, often has occasion to drive past Chesapeake Elementary School when he is on his way to work locations in the community on the southernmost tip of Ohio.
He takes special notice when he sees students at the school taking measurements at a new weather station or using a block and tackle mechanism at the school´s recently dedicated AEP Math/Science Outdoor Lab.
Two years in the brainstorming and planning, Osborne and other AEP employees at the Chesapeake Service Center had much to do with developing and constructing the school´s new outdoor education area. The outdoor classroom provides an opportunity for students to use math and science to track the growth of plant life and to study insects and aquatic life.
Osborne worked closely with Principal Jack Finch at the school to develop the lab, which includes the weather station connected to school computers, where students record atmospheric measurements; a pond where students observe and track the development of tadpoles and bluegill; a butterfly garden, a rock quarry, and other features designed to make math and science come together in a natural setting.
AEP employees at the service center donated time and labor to build platforms for the weather station, birdhouses, a fulcrum, and a block-and-tackle pulley designed to show principles of physics and geometry.
A structure for bird nest boxes and a weather station were built by AEP Ohio employees at the outdoor lab.
"I´ve always liked to make myself available for different community service activities," Osborne said. "Jack and I know each other, and I know he´ll do anything for the kids. And it´s been great for us to be a part of this."
Osborne has two granddaughters and fellow employee Harry Mayenchein has a grandchild who attend the school.
Jon Buck, community affairs manager for AEP Ohio, played a key role in arranging for the donation of funds for the project. "Assisting with educational endeavors like this, especially one that emphasizes the foundational principles of science, math, and the environment, fits in well with AEP´s mission of helping build strong communities," Buck said.
Many of the materials used in the project came from salvaged scrap, such as broken and used poles and cross arms.
The effort was strongly supported by John White, manager-distribution systems, Chillicothe, and Jim Miller, supervisor-distribution systems, Ironton/Chesapeake.
"The vacant land initially had marginal value and was an eyesore that lies between a four-lane highway, a dead-end street and school yard," Miller said. "It has been developed into an attractive, unique and valuable learning center."
Chesapeake distribution employees involved in building the outdoor lab have included David Gillilan, line crew supervisor NE; Todd Blankenship, line mechanic A, Garland Bills, line mechanic A, and Osborne.
Development of the roughly one-acre area is expected to continue. Possibilities for the future include installation of an mechanism to demonstrate principles of electricity, a telescope, and a wildflower garden.
Finch told the local newspaper The Ironton Tribune he has "deep gratitude" to AEP for the work it has put into the project.
"This is very exciting for us. Effective learning occurs with hands-on activities, and it´s exciting to see the students learning now and building skills for their futures in the outdoor classroom," Finch said.
Cooperative Agreement Opens 2,300 Acres for Public Hunting
AEP Ohio recently placed 2,300 acres of its Poston Plant Lands, located in Athens County, Ohio, into a cooperative management agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. This agreement allows for the use of the property for public hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Roy Strawser (left), of AEP’s Real Estate Asset Management group, congratulates Steven Gray (right), chief, ODNR-Division of Wildlife, for entering into the cooperative management agreement for the Poston Plant Lands area in Athens County, Ohio. Looking on is State Representative Jimmy Stewart, R-92nd District.
In addition, the company donated 65 acres near the site bordering the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway to the Athens Conservancy. The property includes unique wildflower plant diversity that the Conservancy will preserve.
The management agreement and the donation were recognized recently during a ceremony at the site. The ODNR – Division of Wildlife hosted the event.
"AEP has been a leader for over 40 years as a corporate partner with the Division of Wildlife as well as other conservation organizations including the Athens Conservancy, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ruffed Grouse Society, Whitetails Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Buckmasters, the Division of Forestry and numerous local sportsmen groups," said Jim Marshall, ODNR - Division of Wildlife district manager for southeastern Ohio. "Ohio’s Division of Wildlife and sportsmen owe a great deal of thanks to the folks at AEP for their conservation ethic and integral role in creating outdoor opportunities."
With the addition of the Poston Plant Lands, AEP has 63,876 acres of land in cooperative agreements with the Division of Wildlife in Athens, Coshocton, Guernsey, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Perry counties.
"AEP is pleased to be able to make this property available for public use under the management of the Ohio Division of Wildlife," explained John Hollback, AEP Ohio manager-state governmental and environmental affairs. "In addition, we are delighted to be able to donate approximately 65 acres of this site to the Athens Conservancy, who will preserve the property and its unique plant diversity for future generations to enjoy."
"We are just thrilled to be acquiring this property from AEP," said Bob Scott Placier, an instructor at Hocking College in the School of Natural Resources and a representative of the Athens Conservancy. He noted that the property hosts a "tremendous display of spring wildflowers" and "a tremendous diversity of birds."
AEP’s former Poston Generating Station was a coal-fired electricity generation facility that was in operation from 1961 to 1989 and dismantled in 1990. Some of the plant property was sold for economic development in the county.
"A big 'thank you' to AEP…," said Steven Gray, chief, ODNR-Division of Wildlife. "I think they can be called Ohio’s conservation partner."
Also representing AEP at the event was the Real Estate Asset Management group, including Roy Strawser, manager, Dean Berry, supervisor, and team members David Dingey, Brian Cox, Jeff Wilson and Mike Williams.