American Electric Power
Flint Creek Power Plant
Gentry, Arkansas, United States
Certified Silver through 2022
About the Program
The AEP American Electric Power Plant is a coal-fired electrical power station located west of Gentry, Arkansas in Benton County housing one electric generating unit. Since 1978, the site has used coal mined from the Powder River Basin shipped on the Kansas City Southern Railway to provide electric power in Northwest Arkansas. The power plant actively manages approximately 700-acres of the property as wildlife habitat, and voluntarily manages their lands to support a sustainable ecosystem. The site includes a hiking trail, a grassland restoration project benefiting native wildlife, a landscaped pollinator habitat, and observation pavilions for bird-watching all open to the public year-round. Conservation team members continue to manage the land to enhance the habitat and provide recreation and education opportunities for the community.
Practices and Impacts
- In 2002, a landscaped pollinator garden project was initiated on a 0.2-acre parcel of land to improve pollinator habitat by providing host and nectar plants for the entire season. The garden contains primarily native species and is used to teach the students and the community the importance of pollinators.
- The site contains a 0.5-mile hiking trail boasting 30+ species specific bird boxes to provide shelter and foraging opportunity for multiple native avian and bat species, cleaning the boxes as needed. Team members plant native grasses, and berry-producing trees in the grassland habitat to benefit avian wildlife and provide safe ground for nesting, breeding, hibernation, wintering, and other major habitat and life cycle needs. The site has seen an increase in avian population over the years, and continues to create a robust habitat for native species.
- A 5-acre prairie restoration project initiated in 2001 is actively managed as grassland habitat using techniques such as scheduled burns each winter, and chemical spot treatment to control invasive species. The team seeds native wildflowers annually to benefit wildlife, and monitors the habitat using plant and wildlife surveys. The site consults Ozark Ecological Restoration to manage the grassland using best practice. The most recent controlled burn occurred in January 2020 followed by a wildflower seeding in February. Employees maintain a journal of maintenance and monitoring activity dating back to 1999. Community groups and schools also utilize the grounds for educational opportunities.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHC INDEX IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY