Alabama Power Foundation gives $500,000 to Birmingham-area parks initiative

BIRMINGHAM - Oct. 29, 2007 – The Alabama Power Foundation today announced it will make a significant contribution to three park projects under way in the Birmingham area –an ongoing initiative that could help transform Birmingham into a national leader in creating greenspaces and protecting natural resources.

The $500,000 contribution, spread over three years, will support ongoing efforts to construct two parks that are part of the initiative, Railroad Reservation Park and Red Mountain Park. The contribution will also support expansion of Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. More specifically, the contribution will provide:

• $275,000 to Railroad Reservation Park. The new 20-acre downtown park is expected to include five miles of trails and a host of recreational amenities. The project will create a vibrant “central park” linking the business district with the growing medical district on the Southside and the rapidly expanding University of Alabama at Birmingham campus.

• $175,000 to Red Mountain Park. Also new, Red Mountain Park will encompass more than 1,000 acres in Birmingham and Jefferson County and is expected to eventually include 18 miles of hiking/biking trails and other recreational facilities along the western extension of Red Mountain.

• $50,000 to Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. Already one of the nation’s largest urban-area nature preserves, plans include the expansion of trails, restoration of wetlands and construction of a nature center and wildlife exhibit area.

“The foundation is proud to support the three-park initiative and other ongoing efforts to create greenways and protect the region’s natural beauty,” said Charles McCrary, president and CEO of Alabama Power, and a member of the foundation’s board of directors. “These parks, which are part of a long-term vision to create a network of open spaces and greenways in the Birmingham area, have the potential to help reshape our region into one of the nation’s top communities for public green space.”

The foundation’s contribution is part of a communitywide effort to raise $16 million to develop the first phase of Railroad Reservation Park and Red Mountain Park, and to expand and improve the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. The effort is being coordinated by Region 2020 and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. A recent milestone, the final purchase of land for Red Mountain Park, will be celebrated at an event Oct. 30.

“The commitment of the Alabama Power Foundation to help develop these regional parks will help us greatly in recasting our image as one of the greenest cities in the United States,” said Dalton Smith, Region 2020 executive director.

Contact Smith at (205) 326-1100 for more information on the three-park initiative.

The Alabama Power Foundation works to improve the quality of life of Alabamians and strengthen the communities in which they live. Since 1990, the foundation has provided more than $100 million in grants to worthy projects across Alabama. Details about the foundation are available at

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO),provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state. Learn more about Alabama Power at