Energizing Your Future

ATC and Milwaukee Bucks award Salem School with 20 trees

Late November in Wisconsin does not typically bring to mind kids outside and tree planting, much less – together.

On Nov. 30 though, it was a little different at Salem School District in Salem, Wis. – mostly because the ground wasn’t frozen. In fact, it was a bluebird day – in the low 40s with only a moderately steady sting of cold wind. It was the perfect time to plant 20 trees, because trees actually can be planted in late autumn after their leaves have fallen. In the ground, the roots go dormant. And come spring, they take root as the snow melt transitions to rain.

But let’s back up.

American Transmission Co. committed to donating 355 trees to Wisconsin communities this year as part of a partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks called Trees for Threes. The program sponsors the planting of a new tree in Wisconsin for each three-point shot the Bucks made at home during the 2016-2017 season.

Salem School District received 20 of those trees, which came from a nursery. That’s not the unusual part.

The trees weren’t from just any nursery – but a nursery that ATC owns. Yes, it’s true – an electric transmission company can own a tree farm, albeit – we are not tree farmers. ATC purchased the former nursery property for the new Balsam Substation in the town of Wheatland in Kenosha County. Instead of cutting the trees, we transplanted them with the help of Paul Swartz Nursery. Salem School is one of the fortunate recipients.

Balsam Substation is part of the Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Project, which will ultimately provide electric reliability throughout southeast Wisconsin when it goes into service in 2020. The project also includes an approximately 25-mile transmission line, and the new line will eventually cross the southern edge of Salem School.

Salem School Administrator Dr. David Milz couldn’t be more pleased with the new trees. “On behalf of Salem School, I’d like to thank the American Transmission Company, the Milwaukee Bucks, and Paul Swartz Nursery for teaming up and selecting us to receive free trees to help beautify our school grounds and contribute positively to our environment,” said Dr. Milz. “We look forward to seeing the trees grow and will certainly appreciate all that they bring for a very long time. The staff and students were excited to be part of this special event.”

At ATC, we have a commitment to the environment and the communities we serve. The Trees for Threes initiative aligns with ATC’s Grow Smart® program, which helps property owners and communities identify low-growing, compatible vegetation that can be planted the smart way – a safe distance from transmission line rights-of-way.

In the case of Salem School, the 20 trees planted on Nov. 30 now have the opportunity to grow and thrive – providing shade and beauty for students, parents and staff – for decades to come.

Interested in helping a school in your area receive trees too? ATC is distributing trees to schools for the 2017-2018 Milwaukee Bucks season, too. School representatives can learn more or register at