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Alabama Power Foundation awards Good Roots Grant to Gadsden State

Participating in the planting of American chestnut trees on Gadsden State’s Wallace Drive Campus are, from left, Dr. Teresa Rhea, retired dean; Jack Agricola, past president of the local American Chestnut Foundation; and Dr. Kathy Murphy, Gadsden State president.

Gadsden, Ala. – Alabama Power Foundation has donated $1,000 to Gadsden State Community College through the Good Roots Grant program. The money has been used to purchase 11 American chestnut trees.

“The chestnut is a heritage tree that came to prominence in the mid-19th century with Abraham Lincoln splitting chestnut logs for a fence line,” said Jack Agricola, past president of the local American Chestnut Foundation, an organization committed to restoring the important species. "The chestnut has long been the tree of choice.”

The planting of the saplings took place Feb. 23 at the entrance to the Wallace Drive Campus. TurfWorx, a regional lawn and landscaping company, donated labor and equipment for the planting while members of Gadsden State’s Good Roots Grant Committee assisted.

“This a grand addition to the college entrance,” said Dr. Teresa Rhea, retired dean who spearheaded the Gadsden State grant. “Green spaces provide an inviting environment to our students, employees and community.”

This is the second Good Roots Grant provided by the Alabama Power Foundation. In 2019, Walden Woods red maple trees were planted in green space between Bevill Hall and the Beck Conference Center on the Wallace Drive Campus.

“We want to continue creating more green spaces on Gadsden State campuses,” said Kelley Pearce, acting dean of Enrollment and Retention. “We encourage faculty to hold classes outdoors and enjoy the beautiful green spaces Gadsden State has to offer.”