ATC supports three native oak savannas in southeast Wisconsin
American Transmission Co. is helping to restore three native oak savannas in southeast Wisconsin through our Community Planting Program grants.
Once common in the Midwest, forming a boundary between prairies and forests, oak savannas are now one of the rarest ecosystems on earth. The openness of an oak savanna, with large trees growing far apart, also allows numerous types of native prairie plants to grow.
Kenosha County Veterans Memorial Park
One hundred oak trees were transplanted at the Kenosha County Veterans Memorial Park this spring. The trees, which are visible along walking trails and dispersed throughout 43 acres of the eastern portion of the park, are part of an ongoing oak savanna restoration project.
Over the last 15 years, Kenosha County has received and planted free tree saplings from the Argosy Foundation as well as overstock from Kenosha County’s Tree and Shrub Planting Program. The cost of the transplanting was partially funded through a grant from ATC’s Community Planting Program.
Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy
After clearing invasive species from the edge of an old growth hardwood forest, the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy planted over 250 native trees and woody shrubs as it continues to redevelop the oak savanna on the northeastern side of the conservancy. The trees and shrubs — a mix of American hazelnut, common witch-hazel, gray dogwood, elderberry, tamarack, American larch and a variety of oak species — were paid for by a grant from ATC’s Community Planting Program.
The 231-acre Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy is the largest remaining intact natural area and wetland located on the shores of Geneva Lake and significantly contributes to the overall cleanliness of this clear-water glacial lake.
Bristol Bay Park
The Village of Bristol planted 15-20 native oak and hickory trees in the new Bristol Bay Park. When Bristol Bay Park is fully developed, it will be a 37-acre natural area park with an oak savanna along its walking trails. This is the second Community Planting Program grant the village has received.
ATC’s Community Planting Program enables us to encourage and support 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.
The program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000.
ATC accepts applications from June 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.