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ATC partners with Root-Pike WIN to restore 46 acres along Lamparek Ditch

American Transmission Co. has teamed up with Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network to help restore a portion of the Lamparek Ditch in Mount Pleasant, Wis. Fifty native species will be planted in the new corridor, helping to reduce runoff of pollutants, create wildlife habitat and increase flood water storage capacity for the watershed. The article below is an excerpt from a recent Root-Pike WIN newsletter.

American Transmission Co. is working with Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network to help restore a portion of the Lamparek Ditch, a critical tributary of the impaired North Branch of the Pike River in Mount Pleasant, Wis. Restoration efforts along this historically degraded and mostly cultivated riparian corridor will aim to promote regional clean water and ecosystem goals.

ATC will provide funds to purchase and plant native vegetation along a new 1.2-mile transmission line corridor between County Trunk Highway H and 90th Street. Enhanced seeding and plantings of native, floristically diverse vegetation will help reduce runoff of pollutants, create wildlife habitat, and increase flood water storage capacity for the watershed.

“ATC understands ‘win-win’ and sets a great example for corporate environmental stewardship,” said Dave Giordano, executive director of Root-Pike WIN. “They listened to the needs in our Pike River Watershed Restoration Plan and quickly stepped up with a much richer – and more expensive – planting plan. Having a native plant mix with greater diversity translates into reduced sheet runoff, better groundwater infiltration, improved habitat for pollinators, and a richer environmental connection point to the North Branch. These corridors are essential to the current and future health of the rapidly-developing Wisconn Valley watersheds.”

The diverse seeding and planting will include a mixture of more than 50 species of tall grass prairie, wet prairie, sedge meadow and submergent aquatic species. Vegetation will include an abundance of flowering plants with bloom times scattered throughout the year to support pollinators during their active seasons. The corridor will be approximately 320-feet wide.

Claude Lois, project director for the Village of Mount Pleasant, commented, “The Village of Mount Pleasant works vigorously with our community partners to protect and enhance our environmental assets. We are pleased to be working with community partners to explore ways to rehabilitate and improve the water quality and natural habitat of the Lamparek Ditch as part of the new development in that area.”

In total, ATC has committed to restoring 46 acres of a previously dominated agricultural setting to native vegetation – 30 acres of new transmission line right-of-way and 16 acres of new substation property along the north side of the tributary. ATC will monitor and maintain the planted areas through 2020. To keep the restored areas resilient long-term, Root-Pike WIN and ATC will seek additional partnerships with other stakeholders along the newly-created and enhanced greenspace corridor.