Grow Smart® Summer Library Program
Nearly all the world’s seed plants need pollinators to help plants make fruits or seeds by moving pollen from one part of a plant to another to fertilize it. Visits from bees, beetles, birds, butterflies and other pollinators result in larger, more flavorful fruits and higher crop yields.
But pollinator populations are decreasing, mainly due to loss of habitat. Grow Smart by adding native, pollinator-friendly plants to your yard to increase their habitat and chances for survival. Adding native plants doesn’t require a lot of space or even a lot of effort. Join us at a local library in June to learn more.
National Pollinator Month programming at local libraries
American Transmission Co.—in partnership with national gardening expert and author Melinda Myers, the Wisconsin Public Library System and the Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation—is offering free pollinator education and STEM activities for K-12 youth and their families, along with live gardening webinars for adults during June 2022, which is National Pollinator Month.
Youth and teen videos and activities
Check out the three videos and accompanying STEM-based activities for K-12 students. Please visit your local library for more activities and information.
It’s not just honeybees that pollinate the food we eat. Watch this video to learn about native bees and what they need in a home. Then put your knowledge to work with this family and teen bee house activity guide.
Pollinator-friendly annual sunflowers are easy to grow and their seed/flower spiral provides lots of nectar for pollinators. Learn how to grow and care for a sunflower in this video and this family and teen sunflower activity guide.
Growing flowers for pollinators doesn’t require a lot of space. Learn how to take care of a container garden in this video and family and teen activity guide to help you create one of your own!
You can also join ATC and Melinda Myers in exploring and enhancing your backyards and neighborhoods with our free youth gardening videos and young gardener’s journal to record all the fun, cool and unusual creatures you find.
Join us for three live webinars, presented by ATC and Melinda Myers and hosted by the Milwaukee Public Library, to learn more about how to incorporate pollinators into your garden and landscape. Please click on the links below to register for one or all of the webinars:
- June 1, 2022, 6:30 p.m. – Creating a pollinator paradise
- June 15, 2022, 7:00 p.m.. – Supporting native bees
- June 22, 2022, 6:30 p.m. – Maintaining your landscape with pollinators in mind
The videos will be available on ATC’s YouTube channel shortly after each live webinar. Looking for recommendations on what native plants to grow at your home? View or download the Grow Smart Pollinator Guide and take it with you to your local nursery.
ATC’s pollinator habitat support
Low-growing perennials and grasses can grow and thrive within transmission line rights-of-way. ATC is uniquely positioned to help establish pollinator habitat because of the over 10,000 miles of transmission line right-of-way we manage. Roughly 40% of the rights-of-way we manage may currently serve as suitable habitat for pollinators and our practices help make these areas suitable for pollinators.
The company has used pollinator-enhanced seed mix on over 800 acres of land as part of construction projects since it started tracking acres seeded in 2016. The four-acre native prairie surrounding ATC’s Pewaukee, Wis., headquarters is certified as a native landscape by the Wildlife Habitat Council and the company has helped over 30 entities that allow public access to our rights-of-way develop roughly 275 acres of pollinator habitat through its Pollinator Habitat grant program since 2017.
Planting for pollinators
The Grow Smart Pollinator Guide we developed in collaboration with Melinda Myers provides suggestions on a variety of native, pollinator-friendly plants similar to what we plant in our rights-of-way. These suggested plants beautify your property and help attract bees, birds and butterflies – and support migrating monarch butterflies during their long spring and fall migrations. Their deep root systems help break up and improve soil, and capture and clean rainwater to help reduce the risk of storm water overflows and water pollution. Additionally, sustainable rights-of-way with compatible plant communities such as the ones we suggest are part ATC’s long-term vegetation management program, which is needed to help keep electric transmission lines safe and reliable. To learn about conserving energy for your home by planting the right tree in the right place, please visit the climate change section on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website.
Educating young minds is important to ATC’s future.
ATC makes it a priority to support and engage employee volunteers with educational programs in our service area that encourage scholars to consider careers in energy. We support the Wisconsin-based education network Into the Outdoors Electrifying Careers in Energy program, employ interns from numerous universities and work-study students from Milwaukee’s Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and work with the Wisconsin Energy Workforce Consortium to help create awareness of the incredible and varied opportunities for careers in the utility industry. Our employees also teach a weeklong utility vegetation management course at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and volunteer their time and expertise with several K-12 schools and the STEM Forward organization.