Seeding along the Oak Leaf Trail bike path in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, this last month will provide native ground cover for urban wildlife and eventually attract diminishing populations of pollinators.
ATC’s environmental services contractor, Cardno, seeded grass and other forbs for the second time in early November, immediately adjacent to the bike path where part of the Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project was completed in May 2015. The area near North 115th St. and West Underwood Parkway was initially seeded in July.
Nearly all of the grasses and forbs seeded along the path also are included in ATC’s Grow Smart planting guide. Grow Smart is a program that helps landowners understand the importance of planting low-growing vegetation near transmission lines. Common milkweed is one of the forbs promoted in Grow Smart and was one of the seeds included in the trail’s seed mix. ATC distributed thousands of milkweed seed packets at various events this year, helping educate the public about the plight of the monarch butterfly – which is highly dependent on milkweed as a food source.
The $23 million electric system reinforcement project that was rebuilt along portions of the bike path included the construction of a new We Energies substation adjacent to the existing Milwaukee County substation at 93rd Street and Watertown Plank Road, and construction of two separate 138,000-volt transmission lines to connect the substation to the transmission system that serves area.