Posted by Steve Lettau on Feb 06, 2020

Will plant 3,000 native tree and shrub seedlings

News Graphic - Conley Publishing Group

MEQUON — The Mequon Nature Preserve recently received a $4,500 grant from American Transmission Co.’s Community Planting Program to plant approximately 3,000 native tree and shrub seedlings to reforest select areas of the Preserve that are reverting back to mesic hardwood forests.

“Planting trees and shrubs will 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 from ATC, we’re increasing diversity not only within the plant community, but also the wildlife community. These trees and shrubs will provide food and shelter for thousands of species that rely on woody vegetation.”

The Community Planting Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation outside the transmission line rights-of-way. ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000 since the program’s inception in 2013.

“We recognize that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors,” said ATC Vegetation Management Manager Michelle Stokes. “While we can’t allow trees or tall‚ growing vegetation in our rights-ofway, ATC’s Community Planting Program enables us to encourage and support communities 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.”

In addition to the Community Planting Program, ATC’s Pollinator Habitat Program provides funding for site preparation; purchasing seed, plugs or plants; labor and installation; or other activities to establish quality pollinator habitat. Unlike the Community Planting Program, the Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line rightof- way. It 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).