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City of Marinette adds to greenspace with help from ATC

City of Marinette Forester Todd Lapacz and several students from a Marinette High School environmental science class planted five landscape beds in the greenspace separating the Marinette High School entrance road and Community Recreation Center parking lot.

Each bed included a center tree surrounded by low-growing, pollinator-friendly plants in the school’s colors. Three beds were planted with Skyline Honey Locust trees surrounded by Russian Sage and Purple or Veronica Salvia. The two other beds were planted with an Autumn Blaze Freeman Maple tree surrounded by Karl Foerster grass and Purple Coneflower. The tree purchase was made possible by a $1,900 grant from ATC’s Community Planting Program.

“The students were excited to create landscape beds,” said Todd Lapacz, City Forester, City of Marinette. “With this grant from ATC, we’re able to diversity Marinette’s tree population, and provide shade and additional natural beauty to our community.”

Lapacz also told the students why planting the trees in that location was important. The trees will help to filter the air pollution from the cars in the parking lot and will slow down the amount of runoff into the parking lot.

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 outside the transmission line rights-of-way. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000.

ATC accepts applications from July 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 atc-GrowSmart.com.

ATC continues funding for planting and pollinator habitat projects

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Recognizing that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors, American Transmission Co. will continue funding for planting projects in communities in its service area through its Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat programs.

“While we can’t allow trees or tall‑growing vegetation in our rights‑of‑way, we do understand that they are an important part of the landscape,” said ATC Vegetation Management Manager Michelle Stokes. “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.”

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, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation outside the transmission line rights-of-way. ATC has awarded more than 240 communities with funds totaling over $425,000 since 2013.

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.

“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.”

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-profits or public land managers).

Applications for the Community Planting Program and Pollinator Habitat Program are accepted July 1 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 can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.

 

Protecting pollinators and their habitats

When’s the last time you thanked a pollinator? Perhaps it’s time you did. This week is National Pollinator Week, a time to celebrate pollinators and focus on what we can do to help them thrive.

Globally, about 1,000 plants we depend on for food and products need to be pollinated by animals. About 75% of all plants, including those in our yards, gardens, and parks, also depend on pollinators. But the biggest threat to pollinators is related to the habitat they depend on to survive. As native vegetation is replaced by roadways, lawns, crops and non-native gardens, pollinators lose the food and nesting sites they need.

ATC is uniquely positioned to help support and promote pollinator habitat. Many of our transmission rights-of-way are perfect for low-growing, pollinator-friendly native vegetation. Our support of pollinator habitat focuses on three main areas – our educational Grow Smart program, our Pollinator Habitat grant program and our own efforts to increase pollinator habitat in the transmission rights-of-way we manage.

Grow Smart, grow low for pollinators

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.

Since 2014, ATC has partnered with nationally known gardening expert Melinda Myers to help landowners learn about compatible vegetation near transmission lines. On Tuesday, June 23, Melinda appeared on WTMJ’s Morning Blend providing tips for managing pests while keeping plants safe and increasing pollinator habitat by adding native pollinator-friendly plants to your landscaping.

Want to add some pollinator-friendly plants to your yard? View or print our Grow Smart Planting Guide or Grow Smart Pollinator Guide and bring it to your local garden center.

ATC commits $150,000 to pandemic-related relief causes

American Transmission Co. is powering through these trying times by helping to keep the lights on, businesses running and communities strong.

For communities we serve, ATC is supporting organizations and causes that are lending a hand to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have committed $150,000 to organizations in our service area for COVID-related causes.

Already this year, we have donated $75,000 to the following organizations:

  • Aging & Disability Resource Center of Brown County
  • American Red Cross Wisconsin Region
  • Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
  • Brown County United Way
  • Cristo Rey Emergency Fund
  • Dane County Boys & Girls Club
  • Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency
  • Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
  • Girls Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes
  • Hunger Task Force
  • Manistique Area Schools
  • Milwaukee County Senior Meals
  • Paul’s Pantry
  • Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin
  • SSM Health at Home Foundation of Wisconsin
  • Ignace Area Hope Food Pantry
  • Vincent de Paul of Iron Mountain Food Pantry
  • United Way of Dane County
  • United Way of Dickinson County
  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
  • USO Wisconsin
  • Waukesha County Meals on Wheels

If you have a donation request for ATC to consider, please click here to submit information for us to review. We will consider opportunities in ATC’s service areas in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan that are helping our community members weather this storm.

Village of Rochester starts arboretum with support from ATC

The Village of Rochester recently planted 11 trees thanks to a $2,000 grant from American Transmission Co.’s Community Planting Program. The trees, a mix of birch, oak, honey locust and cypress, were planted near the village hall and public library.

“Many of the trees in our village are nearing the end of their lifecycle,” said Director of Public Works Christopher Birkett. “With this grant from ATC, we’re able to start a small arboretum to help diversify our local tree population, along with providing shade and additional natural beauty in our community.”

The trees were planted by a small community leadership team comprised of Birkett, Village President Ed Chart, Village Trustees Christopher Bennett and Leslie Kinsey, and Village Parks Subcommittee Chairman John Monsen. Rochester has a population of over 3,500 people and is located in Western Racine County, between Burlington and Waterford, Wis.

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 outside the transmission line rights-of-way. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000.

ATC accepts applications from July 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 atc-GrowSmart.com.