American Transmission Co.

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Kronenwetter, Marshfield and Stevens Point add trees with help from ATC

Three central Wisconsin municipalities recently increased their tree populations with the help of grants from American Transmission Co.’s Community Planting Program. The program encourages and supports communities in planting trees and vegetation that enhance the local area without compromising the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.

The Village of Kronenwetter planted 10 trees in its popular Sunset Park. The trees—a mix of greenspire linden, northern catalpa, prairie fire crabapple, starlite crabapple and hackberry—will enhance other planned improvements to the park. They also will provide shade during park events, promote wildlife habitat, and help educate residents about the value of trees and how to care for them.

The City of Marshfield, along with volunteers from the Marshfield Sunrise Rotary Club, planted almost 30 bare root trees near the Marshfield Fairgrounds. The city selected 15 different tree species, including northern red oak and white swamp oak. The trees will enhance aesthetics of the area, increase the diversity of Marshfield’s urban forest, and help create a calming effect to encourage lower traffic speeds in the busy area.

The City of Stevens Point planted 24 fruit trees next to Bukolt Park along the Wisconsin River. The land was recently purchased by the city and the North Central Conservancy Trust and will be part of the roughly 30-mile Green Circle Trail, a hiking and biking trail that loops through the Stevens Point area. Once mature, the trees—a mix of apples, pears, plums and cherries—will provide free fruit for local residents and wildlife. The city plans to use the remaining funding to purchase shade trees for its new Emerson Park, located between the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and the city’s downtown area.

The Community Planting Program and its sister Pollinator Habitat Program are part of ATC’s Grow Smart® initiative, which advocates for and provides suggestions of low-growing, compatible vegetation that can be planted in transmission line rights-of-way. ATC has awarded nearly $500,000  to more than 265 communities and organizations since 2013.

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