Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
Mayors and local government officials are responding to the drastic decline in the monarch population by taking the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. Starting in 2015, when mayors and other city leaders sign the pledge, they are making a commitment to restore habitat in their jurisdiction and encouraging their citizenry to do the same. To accomplish this complex task, the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge involves four different steps.
First, take the pledge. Next, communities indicate exactly what conservation actions they plan to take in the next year. NWF staff follows up, with the coordinator specified to pinpoint at least three conservation actions the city will attempt in the next year. Mayors and local leaders who decide to take on eight or more city-wide conservation actions will become part of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge Leadership Circle. Finally, municipalities report their progress to NWF through an online survey, on a quarterly basis (NWF 2015).
The data collected through the feedback track the combined results and impact of the Pledge. NWF has assembled an online resource page to support cities and municipalities in their monarch habitat restoration efforts. “Cities, towns and counties have a critical role to play to help save the monarch butterfly. Municipalities in particular can provide habitat at public parks, median strips, community gardens and municipal buildings that serve as community hubs such as recreation centers and libraries. Schools, homes and businesses can all provide essential habitat for monarchs too. Simple changes in landscaping ordinances or school policies can make a big difference for the monarch.
Educating citizens about how and where to grow milkweed is also a key piece of the puzzle. Creating habitat and educating citizens will benefit other pollinators that need healthy habitat as well. When Mayors speak up and take a stand, citizens notice” (Fitzgerald 2015).