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Power Source
Fall 2016

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Humming Bird
Hummingbirds like this ruby-throated variety are a common sight around Santee Cooper for those with quick eyes.

Santee Cooper is For the Birds

The idea of engaging nature on Santee Cooper campuses advanced last year after employees volunteered to build and maintain an employee garden. The success of the garden – an interactive, nature-based project on a Santee Cooper campus – caused a similar idea to fly into action.

The idea was to have bird-friendly campuses, starting with select Santee Cooper office locations. The bird-friendly initiative was heavily supported by Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mike Baxley, Acting Director of Environmental Management Systems Will Brown, and Brad Sale, education coordinator at Old Santee Canal Park. Brown and Sale are members of Santee Cooper’s Employee Sustainability Engagement Committee, and Sale is well-known for his interaction and keen knowledge of birds at Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner.

Brad Sale, education coordinator at Old Santee Canal Park, fills a bird feeder on the Santee Cooper campus in Moncks Corner.

This project would not be possible without the dedication of Santee Cooper employees who took on the responsibility of con-structing and maintaining birdhouses and feeders. Not only did Baxley, Brown and Sale play a large role in formulating the blueprint for the project, a number of employees have volunteered their time and talents. Employees split duties and chose locations for hummingbird feeders, purple martin boxes and bluebird boxes. They helped construct the boxes, regularly clean the feeders and boxes, and have made the commitment to refill the hummingbird feeders on a regular basis.

Barred Owl
A barred owl observes from a serene perch.

The invitation for settlement has officially been sent out to all bird communities near Santee Cooper’s headquarters in Moncks Corner and the Horry-Georgetown Distribution office in Myrtle Beach, and many are flocking to join the party. There’s a colony of purple martins near the Moncks Corner headquarters and frequent bluebird and hummingbird sightings. The project requires employee participation in order to sustain it, and employees’ time and contributions are voluntary.

A Northern flicker woodpecker stops for a snack at the Interpretive Center (left), and purple martins congregate in a multi-level bird condo.
These birds can be spotted locally throughout the year (clockwise from left): osprey; painted bunting; prothonotary warbler.