Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 7
Happy National Bird Feeding Month. Did you know that bird feeding is the second most popular hobby in the United States (behind gardening)? More than 65 million Americans participate annually, according to a recent Census report.
One way to support our feathered friends without the upkeep of a bird feeder is to increase the native plants in your yard – giving birds seeds and cover in the cold winter months, and nectar in the warmer months for hummingbirds and other pollinators.
It may be cold outside, but this is a perfect time to think about adding bird, bee and butterfly-friendly plants to your garden and landscaping! View or print out our Grow Smart Pollinator Guide and bring it to your local garden center.
For the third consecutive year, employees at American Transmission Co.’s De Pere office engaged in some friendly competition with neighboring businesses to help fill the shelves at Paul’s Food Pantry which serves Green Bay and its surrounding areas. January and February are historically low months for donations at the pantry, so the businesses created the event to help reduce the shortage.
ATC joined PAi, AmeriLux, M.J. Electric, WEL Companies and Advanced Disposal to gather non-perishable foods over a four-week period between Jan. 13 and Feb. 7, 2020. Each week had a different theme and suggested items: Protein Power, Pantry Staples, Rise and Shine and It’s Personal. The number of items each business collected each week were tallied and reported.
At the end of the challenge, the business donating the most items per capita received the revered Paul’s Pantry trophy. This year’s winner was WEL Companies, with a total of 11,800 items. However, the most important win is for Paul’s Pantry, who have an additional 28,697 items to help support the clients they serve.
The average teenager rarely thinks about buying health insurance, paying bills or applying for a mortgage, but those are critical life skills.
On Jan. 31, American Transmission Co. employees helped more than 100 eighth grade students from two Milwaukee middle schools understand the importance of personal finance and their personal career choices during a visit to JA Finance Park.
ATC volunteers guided groups of 5-10 students through simulated family and income scenarios and helped them create a budget, allocate expense items (e.g., mortgage payments, groceries, childcare, etc.) and make personal investments. In many scenarios, students were the sole providers for their family and had to consider how to accommodate the needs of their family without overspending.
“I like volunteering and making a positive impact on our youth,” said one ATC employee. “When you start getting to know the children, they let you in. They’ll tell you some of their hopes and dreams. It was also fun to see their shock over how much things cost.”
Mouths dropped at the cost of childcare. One student was frustrated that she couldn’t even afford to purchase an “ugly” car and would have to take public transportation. Many students found they needed to revise their budgets after quickly overspending on entertainment or clothing.
In the end, the students left with a better understanding of the importance of staying in school and getting an education in order to be financially successful as an adult.
Vice President of Audit and Risk Management Juanita Banks, who organized ATC’s participation in the event, has been involved with Junior Achievement for over four years. “ATC employees truly care about giving back to our communities. Helping students gain a better understanding of personal finance and the importance of staying in school is just another great example of our employees’ involvement in the community,” said Banks.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy.
It may be cold outside, but that balmy spring planting weather will be here before we know it. Now is the perfect time to start planning your garden and landscaping projects!
If you like colorful outdoor spaces, you may want to attend “Create a Garden Filled with Flowers from Spring through Frost” presented by nationally known gardening expert Melinda Myers at the 2020 PBS Wisconsin Garden & Landscape Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Her presentation is on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 12 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, at 12:45 p.m.
“You don’t need a huge yard to enjoy flowers from early spring through the end of fall,” says Myers. “Just pick a few key flowers that peak at different times, design for maximum impact and enjoy the many benefits including the birds, butterflies and bees they attract. And, be sure to incorporate perennials, including some native species, with multiple seasons of interest even in fall and winter.”
Since 2014, ATC has partnered with Melinda Myers to help landowners learn about compatible vegetation near transmission lines. 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. ATC’s Grow Smart program 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.
In collaboration with Melinda Myers, we have developed two guides to identify low-growing vegetation that supports pollinator habitats and is safe to plant in our rights-of-way. These suggested plants have deep root systems that are both beautiful and help attract bees, butterflies and birds. View or print the Grow Smart Planting Guide or Grow Smart Pollinator Guide and bring it to your local garden center.
The Milwaukee Bucks are halfway through the 2019-20 season, and their current record has the Bucks leaping to the top of the Eastern conference. Their 3-point shots are on the rise too, having scored 327 at home thus far (11 more than this time last year).
“At ATC, we watch the Bucks home games a little differently than other fans,” said ATC Director of Corporate Communications, Anne Spaltholz. “For every 3-point shot they make, we see a tree that will be donated to a Wisconsin school.”
This is the fourth consecutive year ATC and the Bucks have teamed up for Trees for Threes. During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, ATC awarded 355 and 343 trees, respectively. Last year ATC donated 573 trees to more than 100 schools across Wisconsin – the fourth most three-pointers made by any team at home in NBA history.
“We care about the communities we serve, and this is an incredible partnership because it directly benefits children and schools in those communities,” said Spaltholz.
You can keep score on how many Buck’s 3-pointers will be turned into trees by visiting the Trees for Threes web page. Schools may apply for tree funding until April 12, 2020. Visit our website for additional details.