Ledgeview to plant pollinator habitat at Ledgeview Park along East River Trail

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The Town received a second $5,000 grant from ATC to continue a pollinator habitat in ATC right-of-way.

Beginning at 6:00 pm on Monday, June 27, the Town of Ledgeview and members of the local Pheasants Forever Chapter with assistance from Stone Silo Prairie Gardens, will start work on a pollinator habitat at Ledgeview Park adjacent to the East River Trail. A $5,000 grant from American Transmission Co.’s Pollinator Habitat Program provided the funding to bring native pollinator plantings to the park, which will be located beneath an ATC electric transmission line. This is the second year in a row Ledgeview has been awarded the grant.

When Pheasants Forever heard about Ledgeview receiving the grant, they reached out to offer their assistance. “Pheasants Forever sees these projects as an important piece to spreading the habitat mission in our communities. Pheasant, quail, and many other wildlife species benefit from good pollinator habitats. One out of three bites of the food we eat depends on pollination,” said Julie Peterson, Biologist from Pheasants Forever. “Everyone can help improve habitat for butterflies, bees, flies, wasps, and many other insects that we call pollinators. Watch your yard from April to October and make sure you have a plant, shrub, or tree blooming throughout the growing season.”

Stone Silo Prairie Gardens, a local nursery located in Ledgeview that specializes in native species was brought on to provide guidance with the grant administration and creating the habitat. “Native plants are low maintenance options to help pollinators and our ecosystems. Using plants native to our area is better for the bees, birds, and butterflies,” said Justin Kroening owner of Stone Silo Prairie Gardens.

“We’re excited to continue the pollinator habitat at Ledgeview Park,” said Stephanie Schlag, Park and Recreation Director, Town of Ledgeview. “With this grant from ATC, we are able to continue building a beautiful habitat for bees, birds, butterflies, and other pollinators, and bring attention to the project with its close proximity to the East River Trail.”

ATC’s Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way to beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.

“Part of the reason for the recent decline in pollinator populations is due to loss of habitat,” said ATC Environmental Project Manager Johanna Sievewright. “The Pollinator Habitat Program promotes vegetation that is both compatible with our vegetation management practices and it provides habitat for pollinators, which use the utility corridor as a flight path.”

The Pollinator Habitat Program 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). To qualify for the program, communities must commit that all current and future planting plans near high-voltage electric transmission lines will comply with ATC’s maintenance standards.

Applications for ATC’s Community Planting Program and Pollinator Habitat Program are currently being accepted through Sept. 30, and award recipients will be selected and notified by the end of the calendar year. Awards for both programs range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and online program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.

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