Now through Sept. 30, 2022, American Transmission Co. is accepting applications for planting projects in communities in our service area through the annual Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat grant programs. Since 2013, ATC has awarded nearly 290 grants for these projects totaling more than $560,000.
“These programs enable us to encourage and support communities to plant trees and vegetation that will beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system,” said Michelle Stokes, manager of vegetation management and transmission line maintenance at ATC. “While we can’t allow trees or tall-growing vegetation in our rights-of-way, we understand that they are an important part of the landscape.”
The Community Planting Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties, and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation outside the transmission line rights-of-way.
The Pollinator Habitat Program provides funding for site preparation; purchasing seed, plugs or plants; labor and installation; or other activities to establish quality pollinator habitat. Unlike the Community Planting Program, the Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way.
“Loss of habitat is one of the main reasons for the recent decline in pollinator populations,” said Johanna Sievewright, environmental project manager at ATC. “The Pollinator Habitat Program promotes vegetation that is both compatible with our vegetation management practices and it provides habitat for bees, birds, butterflies and pollinators who use the utility corridor as a flight path.”
To qualify for either program, applicants 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. Cities, villages, towns, counties, and tribes within ATC’s service area are eligible to apply for funding through the Community Planting Program. The Pollinator Habitat Program also is open to cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes within ATC’s service area, as well as to entities that allow public access to ATC rights-of-way (e.g., nature preserves, non-profit organizations, or public land managers).
Applications for the Community Planting Program and Pollinator Habitat Program will be accepted through Sept. 30, and award recipients will be selected and notified by the end of the calendar year. Awards for both programs range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and online program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.