American Transmission Co.

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Baird Creek pollinator habitat restoration continues with help from ATC

The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation recently continued restoring 20 acres of native prairie in Green Bay with support from a $3,600 American Transmission Co. Pollinator Habitat Program grant.

The funding supported the establishment of a one-acre pollinator habitat to attract a diverse array of pollinators, reduce erosion and improve water quality to the Baird Creek watershed. A 2018 grant recipient, the Foundation’s original plan was to seed the acre in 2019, but flooding throughout Brown County caused the work to be postponed until 2020.

And then came the global pandemic and its challenges. A large group of volunteers was set to seed the acre in early October, but with a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, they canceled less than a week before. A call to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources led the Foundation to a contact at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service who agreed to no-till drill the native pollinator seed mix.

A no-till drill is a planter that plants seeds in the ground without having to drastically disturb the topsoil (i.e., tilling or plowing). The no-till method decreases soil erosion, makes it easier for water to infiltrate the soil, and better retains organic matter and nutrients in the soil.

Since its establishment in 1997, the non-profit Baird Creek Preservation Foundation has been a significant player in the preservation and restoration of the Baird Creek Greenway and Watershed.

ATC’s Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way to beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.

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.