April 29, 2022

Communities across ATC’s service area are ‘digging’ Arbor Day

American Transmission Co., a Tree Line USA® utility, provided Arbor Day celebration funding support to 21 communities in our service area as part of ATC’s annual support of Arbor Day Tree City USA.

“Trees make communities special places for residents and visitors,” said ATC Vegetation Management Manager Michelle Stokes. “We encourage communities and landowners to plant trees and vegetation that will provide beauty in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system – outside of transmission rights-of-way.” Information on ATC’s vegetation management program can be found at atcllc.com.

Arbor Day support

The communities receiving the funds include 18 Wisconsin communities—Antigo, Brown Deer, Fitchburg, Franklin, Green Bay, Hobart, Howard, Iola, Janesville, Lake Geneva, Manitowoc, Menasha, Oak Creek, Portage, Saukville, Shawano, Stoughton and Whiting—and three communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—Escanaba, Iron Mountain and Marquette.

Brown Deer’s Arbor Day celebration will be held on May 9, when the city plants a flowering cherry tree in memory of a retired police officer who lost her battle with breast cancer on May 9, 2021.

Since 2009, ATC has awarded over $100,000 in Arbor Day celebration funding support to more than 330 communities. The funds are used for the communities’ public Arbor Day celebrations, which is one of the four core standards of sound urban forestry management a community must meet to achieve Tree City USA status— maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

Community Planting Program

The village of Kimberly, Wis., will plant roughly 15 linden and elm trees in Sunset Park on Arbor Day with help from third grade students at Westside Elementary School. The trees were purchased with funding the village received from ATC’s Community Planting Program and will help replace ash trees lost to emerald ash borer.

Twenty-one other communities received funding in 2022 for a total of $71,675 through ATC’s  Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat Programs. Since 2013, ATC has given nearly 290 community awards for these projects totaling more than $560,000. To qualify for a Community Planting Program grant, communities must apply and agree to plant the trees and other vegetation outside of high-voltage transmission line rights-of-way and commit to complying with ATC’s vegetation maintenance standards for all current and future planting plans.

About Arbor Day

​​​​​​​Arbor Day is a worldwide tree-planting holiday that has been celebrated since 1872. Though the holiday is observed on different dates according to planting conditions and local custom, the official Arbor Day in Michigan and Wisconsin is the last Friday in April.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s TreeLine USA® program recognizes best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens.

Share your #ArborDay

In honor of the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant one tree for EACH Instagram, Twitter or Facebook post with the hashtag #ArborDay, up to 75,000 trees. Kimberly-Clark is matching the effort, bringing the total up to 150,000 trees.