Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson thanked ITCTransmission of Novi, Michigan today for awarding the county a $100,000 matching grant to plant trees on public land in the Rouge Watershed in Farmington Hills, Novi and West Bloomfield. ITC's grant doubles the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative $100,000 grant to Oakland County which together will help plant about 850 trees at 20 separate locations.
The 850 trees, when mature, will have the following impact, according to the USDA:
In a tree ribbon-cutting ceremony today at Heritage Park in Farmington Hills, ITC's Director of Local Government & Community Affairs Donna Zalewski presented the $100,000 check to Patterson.
"Our commitment to environmental stewardship naturally extends from our company culture into our operating philosophy," Zalewski said. "We are proud to support Oakland County in their efforts to maintain a healthy environment for the community."
Patterson said ITC's donation will be a boost to the quality of life for Oakland County residents. "Oakland County is among the best places to live, work, play and raise a family in part because of its beautiful natural surroundings. ITC's generosity will help us improve our green space throughout the Rouge Watershed," he said.
Farmington Hills Mayor Jerry Ellis, who attended the festivities, agreed.
"Caring for the environment is a top priority in Farmington Hills," said Ellis. "We commend ITC’s initiative to fund the planting of trees that will not only add beauty to our city but will also provide environmental and health benefits for our residents."
Planting these trees in the Rouge Watershed dovetails with Oakland County's Green Infrastructure Vision. Oakland County was among three regions in the nation which received the National Green Infrastructure Implementation Award this year at the National Green Infrastructure Conference in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Oakland County's Green Infrastructure Vision is a collage of local open space efforts among its 62 communities, intended to guide and coordinate local and multijurisdictional preservation efforts.
The process takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and stewardship of sustainable biological diversity. The county's vision also provides a roadmap into the future and creates opportunities to connect to the land through trails, parks, open space and waterways. For additional information on Oakland County's Green Infrastructure Vision, navigate to www.advantageoakland.com
, click on the "Environmental Stewardship" link, followed by the "What We Do" button, then "Green Infrastructure Initiative."
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. A task force of 11 federal agencies developed an action plan that covers fiscal years 2010 through 2014 and addresses five urgent focus areas: Cleaning up toxics and areas of concern; combating invasive species; promoting near shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted run-off; restoring wetlands and other habitats; and working with partners on outreach. For more information, go to www.epa.gov/greatlakes/glri/
International Transmission Company (d/b/a ITCTransmission) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the nation's largest independent electricity transmission company. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITCTransmission owns, operates and maintains approximately 2,800 circuit miles of transmission line in southeast Michigan, serving a population of 5.1 million. For additional information about ITC, visit www.itctransco.com
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