FOLAR and Hopewell Cogeneration Team up to Clean up
By Sarah Steele Wilson
Oct 5, 2012, 12:25
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Employees of Hopewell Cogeneration clean up brush, cut grass and pick up trash from the abandoned trailer park next to the City Marina.
The Hopewell Cogeneration Facility is accustomed to providing power every day. On Thursday, they put a slightly different spin on their usual task by providing volunteer power to a Friends of the Lower Appomattox River clean up project.
“This is our yearly environmental community project,” said Steven Henry, plant manager at Hopewell Cogeneration.
He said GDF SUEZ Energy North America, the company that owns the Hopewell facility, has over 70 power plants in the United States, each of which does an environmental community project every year.
“We get to volunteer in the community and we get to help the environment,” Henry said, describing the perks of the annual project.
Fifteen of the plant’s 20 employees teamed up to clear brush, cut grass and pick up trash and debris from the abandoned river front trailer park next to City Marina.
“This is an ongoing effort of removal of debris left over from a trailer park that was here for 70 years,” explained Wayne Walton, FOLAR chairman.
For several years, he has been working with volunteers, including groups of soldiers from Fort Lee, to clear out the remnants of 26 trailers and restore the area.
“Our plan is to create a conservation area, a natural area,” Walton said, describing the future of the area.
Henry said he and his co-workers, some of whom had donated their days off to volunteer, had cleared a significant amount of overgrown undergrowth from the site and picked up a lot of pieces of the former trailers, removing nails and glass from the open space.
“We’re picking up trash that could otherwise end up in the river and helping the community,” Henry said.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson
Walton said that Hopewell has many resources available in terms of volunteer sources, with Fort Lee and local industries willing to step up and give back.
“It’s great to have the industry and people donate their time and effort to do this,” he said.