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Greenfield and Ozaukee County add pollinator habitat to parks thanks to ATC grants

The city of Greenfield and Ozaukee County added habitat for bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators in popular parks this year thanks to American Transmission Co.’s Pollinator Habitat Program.

Roughly 35% of the world’s food crops depend on pollinators. Part of the reason for the recent decline in pollinator populations is due to loss of habitat, so efforts to restore pollinator habitat like these projects is critical to current and future pollinator health.

Enhancing Kulwicki Park in Greenfield

The city of Greenfield used an ATC Pollinator Habitat Program grant to plant low-growing, native perennials in a section the ATC transmission line corridor that runs the entire length of the southern border of Kulwicki Park near Hwy 100 and Cold Spring Road. Kulwicki Park is the premiere little league park in the area and the transmission corridor provides ideal viewing for outfield spectators.

Volunteers from the Greenfield Pollinator Protection Committee seeded the transmission corridor and pedestrian pathway with native plants. The Committee also planted native serviceberry shrubs in the southwestern corner of the park to provide food and shelter for birds in partnership with the Wild Birds Unlimited store adjacent to the park. Kulwicki Park is home to the area’s first eBird Hotspot, a shared location where birders can report their bird sightings.

Restoring a prairie and savannah at Tendick Nature Park in Ozaukee County

The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks District continues to restore a warm-season prairie within Tendick Nature Park, a 125-acre county park five miles north of Saukville. Ozaukee County seeded the next phase of restoration of approximately five acres of old farm field to a warm-season prairie thanks to an ATC Pollinator Habitat Program grant.

The County also used an ATC Community Planting Program grant to plant a variety of native trees within and around the prairie restoration site. This will help create a savannah-like ecosystem, increase the diversity of the surrounding forest and wetland habitats, and help offset the loss of ash trees caused by emerald ash borer.

ATC’s pollinator habitat program

ATC’s Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way to beautify a community in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system, while also providing habitat for pollinators that use the utility corridor as a flight path.

The Pollinator Habitat Program is open to cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes within ATC’s service area, as well as to entities that allow public access to ATC rights-of-way (e.g., nature preserves, non-profits or public land managers). To qualify for the program, communities must commit that all current and future planting plans near high-voltage electric transmission lines will comply with ATC’s maintenance standards.

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.