ATC awards $65,000 to 25 recipients for planting projects
American Transmission Co. has collectively awarded $65,000 to 25 recipients across its service area to plant trees and low-growing vegetation through its Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat programs. Now in its eighth year, ATC has given more than 265 community awards for these projects totaling nearly $500,000.
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 Habitat 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.
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.
Pollinator Habitat Program Recipients
“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.”
The following entities received grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 to support pollinator habitat projects:
- City of Greenfield will plant native perennials along the southern border of Kulwicki Park, home to the Greenfield-New Berlin Little League.
- City of Port Washington will remove invasive plants and develop pollinator habitat in Windrush Park.
- City of Sheboygan will establish a pollinator habitat along a highly-trafficked area at the corner of 19th Street and Kohler Memorial Drive.
- Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department will continue its multi-phase habitat project in Tendick Nature Park near Saukville by restoring 5 acres of former farm land into a native prairie.
- Town of Ledgeview will plant native perennials near the southern tip of the East River Trail.
Community Planting Program Recipients
“We recognize that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors,” said ATC Vegetation Management Manager Michelle Stokes. “While we can’t allow trees or tall‑growing vegetation in our rights‑of‑way, ATC’s Community Planting Program encourages and supports 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 following entities received amounts ranging from $800 to $5,000 for planting projects on public property, outside the rights-of-way:
- City of Antigo will plant trees in several city parks to replace others that were removed for a variety of reasons.
- City of Clintonville will plant trees along 13th and W. 14th Streets near the Seven Maple Nature Area.
- City of Fond du Lac will plant trees in Lakeside Park.
- City of Madison Community Development Authority will plant trees on some of the housing properties it owns and operates.
- City of Manitowoc will replace trees damaged by emerald ash borer infestation in Red Arrow Park.
- City of Marshfield will plant trees in the terrace near the community fairgrounds, dog park, and soccer fields.
- City of Menasha will plant trees along Second, Manitowoc, De Pere and Appleton Streets as part of a neighborhood revitalization effort.
- City of Francis will plant low-growing shrubs near its Veterans Memorial Plaza to replace dying tree that is currently under a transmission line.
- City of Stevens Point will plant trees in the new Emerson Park and in a new extension of Bukolt Park.
- City of Wausau will plant trees in Memorial Park.
- Kenosha County will transplant 100 oak trees to create a 43-acre oak savanna prairie within Kenosha County Veterans Memorial Park north of Twin Lakes, Wis.
- Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy will plant native shrubs in an oak savanna it is restoring.
- Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department will plant a variety of native trees as part of its multi-phase habitat restoration project at Tendick Nature Park near Saukville.
- Village of Athens will plant trees in the 200-acre Erbach Park.
- Village of Bayside will plant trees throughout the village as part of its Adopt-A-Tree Program.
- Village of Bellevue will replace trees damaged by emerald ash borer infestation in the East River Trail Arboretum.
- Village of Bristol will plant additional oak trees as it works to develop a native oak savanna in the village’s new Bristol Bay Park.
- Village of Chenequa will plant trees and shrubs near the intersection of Highway C and Oakland Road after a road reconstruction project.
- Village of Kronenwetter will plant trees in Sunset Park.
- Village of Oakfield will replace trees damaged by emerald ash borer infestation in Oakfield Village Park and near the Wildgoose State Trail’s Oakfield Trailhead.
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 adjacent to and within transmission line rights-of-way. Applications are accepted June 1 through Sept. 30.