Cities and municipalities are committing to create monarch habitat and educate citizens about how they can make a difference for monarchs at home through the new National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors' Monarch Pledge. Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis Missouri launched the Pledge with NWF on Friday September 19th 2015.
"Today I’m pleased to officially take the NWF Mayors’ Monarch Pledge because of the benefits urban monarch conservation affords both people and pollinators," said Mayor Slay. "I urge my fellow mayors in Missouri and across the country to also take the pledge and join me in making a difference for the monarch butterfly and the many people who enjoy connecting with nature where they live, work, learn, play or worship."
The Pledge outlines the critical role cities, towns and counties can play in saving the monarch butterfly and the importance of local leaders taking a stand to engage their citizens in conservation. With strong leadership, cities across the country can provide habitat and engage the public to help reverse the decline of the monarch butterfly population.
Mayors will commit to implementing at least three out of 25 potential action items within one year of taking the pledge. Mayors and local government chief executives taking more than eight actions will receive special recognition as part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Leadership Circle. These actions include creating a monarch-friendly demonstration garden at city hall, converting abandoned lots to monarch habitat, changing mowing schedules to allow milkweed to grow unimpeded and 22 other possible actions.
Cities can participate in four steps: 1) take the pledge, 2) specify actions, 3) take action and 4) report progress. The NWF has a page of resources to share best practices and success stories of what other mayors are already doing for monarchs. For an in-depth example of urban monarch conservation, check out the initiatives the city of St. Louis already has underway in the Monarch Joint Venture’s recorded webinar Conserving Monarch Butterflies in an Urban Setting.
"By working together we can ensure that every American child has a chance to experience majestic monarchs in their backyards and communities," said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation at the Pledge launch.
Encourage your city to participate in the Pledge and take action to help monarchs today. Visit the NWF Pledge website for information on how to get started, and share your success stories with us too on the Monarch Joint Venture monarch habitat map!
This article has been compiled from the following NWF webpages about the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge: “Take the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge”, “NWF Launches "Mayors' Monarch Pledge" with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay”, and “Mayors’ Monarch Pledge”.