Alabama Power Foundation awards $1000 Good Roots grant to Southside High School

Pictured above from left, Alabama Power Eastern Divison Area Manager Steve Hildebrant presents Southside High School teacher Eric West and Southside High School prinicpal Dr. Marguerite Early a $1000 Good Roots grant from Alabama Power Foundation at an Etowah County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, July 8.Pictured above from left, Alabama Power Eastern Divison Area Manager Steve Hildebrant presents Southside High School teacher Eric West and Southside High School prinicpal Dr. Marguerite Early a $1000 Good Roots grant from Alabama Power Foundation at an Etowah County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, July 8.

By Lindsay Seagraves/News Editor

Alabama Power Foundation and Eastern Division Area Manager Steve Hildebrant awarded a Good Roots grant for $1000 to Etowah County Schools Superintendent Dr. Alan Cosby, Southside High School principal Dr. Marguerite Early, Etowah County Career Tech Center Director Mark Stancil, and Southside High School teacher Eric West on Tuesday, July 8. 

West, a Southside High School agriscience teacher, applied for the Good Roots grant himself, hoping to make it a student project.

“Eric was successful in obtaining a $1000 grant to plant trees at Southside,” said Hildebrant. 

“I got an email about the grant from my Career Tech Supervisor Mark Stancil, which is how I initially got the ball rolling,” West explained. “I was teaching a landscaping management class at the time and mentioned the Good Roots grant to my students and they just kind of took over from there.”

West said his students were heavily involved in the Good Roots grant process, writing the narrative for the grant and taking pictures to send in. 

“My students will be very, very involved in the tree planting,” he said.

West plans for his students to plant the trees on campus during the cooler months this fall, adding that it’s better for the well-being of the trees to plant then.

“The Good Roots program’s intent is to build strong, vibrant, beautiful communities,” said Hildebrant at an Etowah County Board of Education board meeting on Tuesday. 

The Alabama Power Foundation, partnered with the Alabama Forestry Association, provides Good Roots grants to cities, towns and nonprofits to purchase trees that benefit the environment. The program’s tree planting projects also support recreation and economic development efforts.

Hildebrant said that Alabama Power likes to be part of planting the trees.

The Alabama Power Foundation has awarded ten grants in and around East Alabama this year, including the city of Attalla. In total, the Alabama Power Foundation has awarded 38 Good Roots grants of more than $33,000 to help communities across Alabama plant trees.

“Helping to keep our state vibrant and healthy is a top priority for Alabama Power,” said Eastern Divison Vice President Julia Seagars. “We are very excited to be awarding so many worthy recipients in the Eastern Division this year and look forward to seeing the impact in the community.”

Good Roots is one of several community grant programs funded by Alabama Power Foundation, as more than 1,000 grants are awarded each year. For more information, visit

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