American Transmission Co.

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Grow Smart


Trees and shrubs are an important part of the landscape. But trees, shrubs and transmission lines can be an unsafe combination. Transmission lines can sway or sag, and tall or nearby vegetation can compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system. Grow Smart helps property owners and communities identify low-growing, beautiful, native vegetation that can be planted the smart way – a safe distance from transmission line rights-of-way.

Watch the video below with Melinda Myers to learn which flowers and grasses are most compatible near transmission lines.

“With proper planning and minimal care, you can create a four-season garden, filled with birds and butterflies that’s good for you and the environment – and won’t interfere with overhead transmission lines.”
– Melinda Myers, horticulturist and gardening expert

Watch the guest appearance of Melinda Myers on WTMJ’s The Morning Blend, as she talks about what it means to Grow Smart near high-voltage transmission lines. And check out ATC’s latest TV commercials on our YouTube channel, where Melinda highlights the advantages of growing low, and growing smart.

Need some gardening tips? Melinda provides weekly updates year-round – just click here.

ATC’s Grow Smart Landscape Sweepstakes 2016-09-12_12-50-18

For more information, visit the sweepstakes web page.

Planting guide

Low-growing perennials and grasses can grow and thrive within transmission line rights-of-way. In partnership with horticulturist and gardening expert Melinda Myers, we’ve put together a planting guide to identify plants with deep root systems that will help beautify your property. Sustainable rights-of-way with compatible plant communities also can help limit ATC’s long-term vegetation management program, which is needed to help keep the lines safe and reliable.

View or print the Grow Smart Planting Guide, and take it with you to your local garden center.

To learn about conserving energy for your home by planting the right tree in the right place, please visit the climate change section on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website.

Party for the PlanetP4P video landing page

Since 2009, ATC has sponsored Party for the Planet – an event at the Milwaukee County Zoo, that celebrates Earth Day and International Migratory Bird Day.

In May 2014, ATC introduced attendees at the event to the Grow Smart program, featuring Melinda Myers. Simultaneously, a local cub scout troop helped zoo staff plant just over 100 species of native trees on the zoo’s grounds. Check out the 2014 video that captured it all, on our YouTube channel.

At the 2015 Party for the Planet on May 16-17, children worked alongside Melinda Myers, learning about Grow Smart by planting a pollinator garden. A local cub scout troop assisted zoo forestry staff by planting dozens of native trees. In this video on WTMJ’s The Morning Blend, Myers talks about the event, and this video captures the event highlights.

Community planting program

As an owner and operator of the area electric transmission system, it is our responsibility to keep trees and brush out of the rights-of-way of our power lines for safety and reliability reasons. While we can’t allow trees and brush in our rights-of-way, we understand that they are an important part of the community landscape.

Our Community Planting Program helps us support efforts to beautify communities in the ATC service area in a manner that is consistent with our safety and maintenance standards. Eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes may apply for financial support for planting projects on public property within their community.

To qualify, communities must commit that all current and future planting plans and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines will comply with ATC’s maintenance standards. Priority will favor projects that promote safety and reliability of the transmission system by supporting right-of-way best management practices and keeping trees out of the right-of-way.

Applications will be accepted June 1 through Sept. 30 each year. Recipients will be selected by the end of the calendar year.

Download a brochure and application.

See if your community is eligible for the program.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact:

Jon Callaway

Waunell Trepanier-Friese