American Transmission Co.

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ATC helps Bellevue, Plymouth and Ozaukee County offset tree loss 

Two Wisconsin cities and a county park replaced trees lost to emerald ash borer infestations in 2020 thanks to grants from American Transmission Co.’s Community Planting Program.  

 The emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle introduced from Asia. First detected in Wisconsin in 2008, it has since been found in more than 50 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. EAB attacks all species of ash trees, except mountain ash, which are not true ash trees. 

 The village of Bellevue used its $1,500 grant to plant shingle oak, frontier elm and dawn redwood trees within the East River Trail Arboretum, which also helped increase the village’s tree diversity. 

 The city of Plymouth used its $2,000 grant to help replace some of the 100 trees damaged by emerald ash borer infestation. The city purchased small trees in the spring and kept them in a gravel bed until fall to help increase each tree’s root mass to improve the trees’ survival rate. This approach enabled the city to stretch its funding and plant twice as many trees. The trees were planted in parks and other public spaces throughout the city.  

 The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks District used its $2,500 grant to continue restoring a warm-season prairie within Tendick Nature Park, a 125-acre county park approximately 5 miles north of Saukville. The County planted a variety of native trees – like American hornbeam, bur oak, quaking aspen and white oak – within and around the prairie restoration site to help create a savannah-like ecosystem, increase the diversity of the surrounding forest and wetland habitats, and help filter stormwater that flows from the park into the Milwaukee River. 

 Our Community Planting Program encourages and supports communities to plant trees and vegetation that beautify the landscape in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000. 

 ATC accepts applications from July 1 through Sept. 30, and award recipients are selected and notified by the end of the year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.