Energizing Your Future

Mequon Nature Preserve plants 3,000 native trees thanks to ATC grant

The Mequon Nature Preserve recently planted 3,000 native trees to help reforest select areas that are reverting back to hardwood forests. The tree purchase was made possible by a $4,500 grant from ATC. The trails in the 44-acre Preserve are currently open to the public, but its education center is closed until June 1.

“We’re so excited to see the trees going into the ground. They’ll add a layer of food and habitat that is currently missing in select areas,” said Kristin Gies, Executive Director of the Mequon Nature Preserve . “With this grant, we’re increasing diversity not only within the plant community, but also our wildlife community.”

ATC recognizes that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors. While we can’t allow trees or tall‑growing vegetation in our rights‑of‑way, our Community Planting Program enables us to encourage and support qualifying entities to plant trees and vegetation that will beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system. ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000 since the program’s inception in 2013.

Both the Community Planting Program and 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 accepts applications from July 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