American Transmission Co.

Helping to keep the lights on, businesses running and communities strong®

Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 5

ATC awards $71,675 to 22 recipients for planting projects

American Transmission Co. has collectively awarded $71,675 to 22 recipients across its service area to plant trees and low-growing vegetation through its Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat programs. Now in its ninth year, ATC has given nearly 290 community awards for these projects totaling more than $560,000.

Vegetation funded through the Community Planting Program requires that communities plant trees outside of high-voltage transmission line rights-of-way. Low-growing, compatible vegetation funded through the Pollinator Habitat Program allows entities to cultivate species within the rights-of-way that benefit pollinator food and habitat. Both programs help maintain electric reliability of the transmission system by keeping tall-growing vegetation outside the rights-of-way.

Recipients of both programs commit to comply with ATC’s maintenance standards for all current and future planting plans, and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines.

Pollinator Habitat Program Recipients

“Part of the reason for the recent decline in pollinator populations is due to loss of habitat,” said ATC Environmental Project Manager Johanna Sievewright. “The Pollinator Habitat Program promotes vegetation that is both compatible with our vegetation management practices and it provides habitat for pollinators, which use the utility corridor as a flight path.”

The following entities received grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to support pollinator habitat projects:

Community Planting Program Recipients

“We recognize that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors,” said ATC Vegetation Management Manager Michelle Stokes. “While we can’t allow trees or tall‑growing vegetation in our rights‑of‑way, ATC’s Community Planting Program encourages and supports 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.”

The following entities received amounts ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for planting projects on public property, outside the rights-of-way:

Both the Community Planting Program and Pollinator Planting Program are part of ATC’s Grow Smart® initiative, which advocates for and provides suggestions of low-growing, compatible vegetation that can be planted adjacent to and within transmission line rights-of-way. ATC accepts applications for both programs from June 1 through Sept. 30.

ATC recognized as Green Professional company by Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council

American Transmission Co. has been recognized by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Green Masters program as a Green Professional organization after earning its second-highest score since the company’s participation in the program began.

The Green Masters Program identifies nine key areas that define business sustainability: energy, carbon, water, waste management, transportation, supply chain, education and outreach, workforce and governance. Participants must apply each year and are scored on how well they perform in each category.

The program encourages continuous improvement by offering three levels of achievement: Green Apprentice, Green Professional and Green Master. ATC was named a Green Professional organization from 2016-2018 and a Green Master organization 2019-2020. The Green Master designation is given to the top 20 percent of Wisconsin companies that apply.

We are proud of the Green Master-Professional achievement and our employees who make it possible us to achieve this recognition.

ATC helps five Wisconsin communities replace lost trees

This year, American Transmission Co.’s Community Planting Program helped five Wisconsin communities improve their urban tree diversity and replace trees lost to age, construction, disease and weather events.

Over 140 million acres of America’s forests are located in cities, towns and villages. These trees provide essential benefits for people and improve urban wildlife habitats.

Antigo (Langlade County)

The city of Antigo planted 10 trees to replace ones that had died, been removed due to risk, or uprooted during recent storms in City Park East and West. The trees were a mix of oak, maple and linden and met the city’s goals of species and tree age diversity. Volunteers from Mission Antigo and Wisconsin Public Service assisted with the plantings.

Chenequa (Waukesha County)

The village of Chenequa lost approximately 150 trees in a one-acre area this summer with the redesign and reconstruction of the intersection of County Highway C and Oakland Road. The village planted a mix of Norway spruce, white pine, tamarack, hackberry, swamp white oak, Kentucky coffee tree, quaking aspen, sugar maple and red maple trees and dogwood shrubs in the 0.85 acres of public land. Waukesha County filled the gaps between the trees with a pollinator seed mix. Chenequa has been a Tree City USA community for 35 years and is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe tree canopy throughout its public rights-of-way.

Oakfield (Fond du Lac County)

The village of Oakfield lost dozens of trees when an F5 tornado swept through the village center in 1996 and more recently had to remove ash trees infested with emerald ash borer in Village Park. The village planted trees from its tree farm along with a mix of Norway maples, scarlet maples, swamp white oaks, burr oaks and red oaks in Village Park and in a grassy area where the 34-mile Wild Goose State Trail crosses North Elm Street. Oakfield has been a Tree City USA community for 24 years and is committed to restoring the rich canopy that once towered over the village prior to the 1996 tornado.

St. Francis (Milwaukee County)

The city of St. Francis has its Veterans Memorial within an ATC easement with low growing trees, shrubs, perennial and annual flowers. One of the trees was dying and removed. The city and volunteer Memorial Committee selected and planted a flowering shrub to replace it.

Wausau (Marathon County)

Memorial Park in Wausau has lost a significant number of trees in the past several years due in part to the age of the trees and many of the other trees in the park are ash trees, which are susceptible to emerald ash borer. The city planted a mix of dawn redwood, Douglas fir, accolade elm and hawthorn. The hawthorn trees replaced crabapple trees that were donated by mothers of World War II veterans.

ATC’s planting program

ATC’s Community Planting Program enables us to encourage and support communities to plant trees and vegetation that beautify the landscape in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.

The program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000.

ATC accepts applications from June 1 through Sept. 30, and award recipients are selected and notified by the end of the year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at

Our hearts are with Waukesha

American Transmission Co. cares and we are committed to the communities we live in and serve. Our hearts go out to all those who were affected by the tragic incident at the Waukesha Christmas parade. Waukesha is home to our business, employees, their families and our neighbors and we are profoundly affected by the senseless loss of life and injury that occurred.

To assist the families who were impacted by the tragic incident, ATC is making a $10,000 donation to the United for Waukesha Community Fund on behalf of our employees.

“It is at times like this that we are most grateful to United Way for helping us support the most urgent community needs,” said Mike Rowe, president and CEO. “We appreciate them for being the link to caring for these families during this difficult time.”

Our ATC family will continue to keep Waukesha in our thoughts as our community mourns and begins the process of healing.

Greenfield and Ozaukee County add pollinator habitat to parks thanks to ATC grants

The city of Greenfield and Ozaukee County added habitat for bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators in popular parks this year thanks to American Transmission Co.’s Pollinator Habitat Program.

Roughly 35% of the world’s food crops depend on pollinators. Part of the reason for the recent decline in pollinator populations is due to loss of habitat, so efforts to restore pollinator habitat like these projects is critical to current and future pollinator health.

Enhancing Kulwicki Park in Greenfield

The city of Greenfield used an ATC Pollinator Habitat Program grant to plant low-growing, native perennials in a section the ATC transmission line corridor that runs the entire length of the southern border of Kulwicki Park near Hwy 100 and Cold Spring Road. Kulwicki Park is the premiere little league park in the area and the transmission corridor provides ideal viewing for outfield spectators.

Volunteers from the Greenfield Pollinator Protection Committee seeded the transmission corridor and pedestrian pathway with native plants. The Committee also planted native serviceberry shrubs in the southwestern corner of the park to provide food and shelter for birds in partnership with the Wild Birds Unlimited store adjacent to the park. Kulwicki Park is home to the area’s first eBird Hotspot, a shared location where birders can report their bird sightings.

Restoring a prairie and savannah at Tendick Nature Park in Ozaukee County

The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks District continues to restore a warm-season prairie within Tendick Nature Park, a 125-acre county park five miles north of Saukville. Ozaukee County seeded the next phase of restoration of approximately five acres of old farm field to a warm-season prairie thanks to an ATC Pollinator Habitat Program grant.

The County also used an ATC Community Planting Program grant to plant a variety of native trees within and around the prairie restoration site. This will help create a savannah-like ecosystem, increase the diversity of the surrounding forest and wetland habitats, and help offset the loss of ash trees caused by emerald ash borer.

ATC’s pollinator habitat program

ATC’s Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way to beautify a community in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system, while also providing habitat for pollinators that use the utility corridor as a flight path.

The Pollinator Habitat Program 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-profits or public land managers). To qualify for the program, communities must commit that all current and future planting plans near high-voltage electric transmission lines will comply with ATC’s maintenance standards.

ATC accepts applications from June 1 through Sept. 30, and award recipients are selected and notified by the end of the year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at