The Eagle Watch Nature Trail at SWEPCO Lake has a new boardwalk to enhance visitors’ views of the lake and the area’s abundance of wildlife.
The boardwalk extends more than 60 feet to a 6 x 12-foot covered landing near a wildlife viewing pavilion which was added in 2017. The boardwalk and pavilion are handicap-accessible.
Located one mile west of Gentry, Ark., on Hwy. 12, Eagle Watch is open to the public free year-round.
Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s (SWEPCO) Flint Creek Power Plant in Gentry has been home to the Eagle Watch Nature Trail since 1999. The year-round warm water in the power plant’s 500-acre reservoir, SWEPCO Lake, attracts wintering American Bald Eagles.
“We’re excited to provide another opportunity for the public to enjoy all that Eagle Watch has to offer,” said Sara Vestfals, Flint Creek plant manager.
SWEPCO employees, working in community partnerships, developed the 65-acre Eagle Watch project, which includes two wildlife viewing pavilions and a half-mile nature trail. School kids, community groups, bird watchers, hikers and other visitors enjoy the nature trail.
Although wintering bald eagles are the main attraction, many of the more than 140 bird species identified at the site also can be seen. Mammals include foxes, deer and beaver. Reptiles and amphibians include various species of lizards, turtles, snakes, toads and frogs.
In August 2018, Flint Creek Power Plant was awarded Conservation Certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) in recognition of the plant’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The plant’s wildlife habitat improvement programs include tallgrass prairie restoration, nesting boxes and other bird habitat improvement, and pollinator garden landscapes.
Flint Creek has held certification under the WHC’s Corporate Lands for Learning and Wildlife at Work programs since 2004 and 2002, respectively, and since 2016 when the two programs were combined into the Conservation Certification.
Flint Creek is a 516-megawatt coal-fueled power plant serving co-owners AEP SWEPCO and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC). SWEPCO operates the plant.
More Eagle Watch information:
About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)
SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves 535,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com.
About American Electric Power (AEP)
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, East Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.