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ATC awards $58,600 amongst 27 recipients for planting projects

Twenty-three communities to plant outside transmission line rights-of-way; four recipients will plant inside the right-of-way, benefitting pollinators

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has awarded collectively $58,600 to 27 recipients across its service area to plant trees and low-growing vegetation through two programs – the Community Planting and Pollinator Planting programs. Now in its sixth year, ATC has given more than 200 community awards for these projects totaling nearly $360,000.

Vegetation funded through the Community Planting Program requires that communities plant trees outside of high-voltage transmission line rights-of-way. Low-growing, compatible vegetation funded through the Pollinator Planting Program allows entities to cultivate species within the rights-of-way that benefit pollinator food and habitat. Both programs help maintain electric reliability of the transmission system by keeping tall-growing vegetation outside the rights-of-way.

“As an electric utility, we’re uniquely positioned to support the declining pollinator population,” said Mark Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We established ATC’s pollinator planting initiative about two years ago, developing our own rights-of-way and substation landscaping – following construction. The Pollinator Planting Program extends that opportunity to qualified applicants within our service area because recipients can plant low-growing vegetation in the right-of-way to develop spaces for pollinators. Meanwhile we continue to provide funding to applicants who wish to plant and grow trees outside the right-of-way through our Community Planting Program.”

Recipients of both programs commit to comply with ATC’s maintenance standards for all current and future planting plans and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines. Mequon Nature Preserve, Baird Creek Preservation Foundation in the town of Eaton and the cities of Stevens Point and Muskego all received funding to support pollinator planting projects. The following Wisconsin communities received amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 for planting projects on public property, outside the rights-of-way:

Antigo, Wis.Marinette, Wis.Plymouth, Wis.
Bellevue, Wis.Mequon Nature Preserve (Wis.)Port Washington, Wis.
Bristol, Wis.Outagamie County, Wis.Prairie du Chien, Wis.
Clintonville, Wis.Ozaukee County, Wis.Rib Mountain, Wis.
Green Lake Sanitary District (Wis.)Peshtigo, Wis.Rochester, Wis.
Iron Mountain, Mich.Pittsville, Wis.Waupaca, Wis.

Both the Community Planting Program and Pollinator Planting Program are part of ATC’s Grow Smart® initiative, which advocates for and provides suggestions of low-growing, compatible vegetation that can be planted in transmission line rights-of-way. ATC will accept applications again for both programs from June 1 through Sept. 30, 2019.

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Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multistate transmission-only utility, American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates more than 10,000 miles of electric transmission lines and approximately 580 substations in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Our transmission network enables the movement of electricity produced from all forms of generation resources to areas where it is needed. Visit our website at

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