American Transmission Co. has awarded collectively $58,600 to 27 recipients across its service area to plant trees and low-growing vegetation through two programs – the Community Planting and Pollinator Planting programs. Now in its sixth year, ATC has given more than 200 community awards for these projects totaling nearly $360,000.
Vegetation funded through the Community Planting Program requires that communities plant trees outside of high-voltage transmission line rights-of-way. Low-growing, compatible vegetation funded through the Pollinator Planting Program allows entities to cultivate species within the rights-of-way that benefit pollinator food and habitat. Both programs help maintain electric reliability of the transmission system by keeping tall-growing vegetation outside the rights-of-way.
“As an electric utility, we’re uniquely positioned to support the declining pollinator population,” says Mark Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We established ATC’s pollinator planting initiative about two years ago, developing our own rights-of-way and substation landscaping - following construction. The Pollinator Planting Program extends that opportunity to qualified applicants within our service area because recipients can plant low-growing vegetation in the right-of-way to develop spaces for pollinators. Meanwhile, we continue to provide funding to applicants who wish to plant and grow trees outside the right-of-way through our Community Planting Program.”
Recipients of both programs commit to comply with ATC’s maintenance standards for all current and future planting plans and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines. Mequon Nature Preserve, Baird Creek Preservation Foundation in the town of Eaton and the cities of Stevens Point and Muskego all received funding to support pollinator planting projects. The following Wisconsin communities received amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 for planting projects on public property, outside the rights-of-way:
- Gays Mills
- Ozaukee County
- Sheboygan County
- Three Lakes
- Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy
- Dane Co. Tree Board
- Port Edwards
- Richland County
- West Allis
Both the Community Planting Program and Pollinator Planting 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 will accept applications again for both programs from June 1 through Sept. 30, 2019.
For more information, visit the Web site. Also, check out the video below, which describes low-growing plants that are suitable for your utility customers to plant. Also, this planting guide offers further guidance.