NWF Launches "Mayors' Monarch Pledge" with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay
"By working together we can ensure that every American child has a chance to experience majestic monarchs in their backyards and communities."
Today, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay joined the National Wildlife Federation and its President and CEO, Collin O’Mara, for the launch of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. The new, national campaign will work with mayors and local government chief executives to help save the declining monarch butterfly.
While monarchs are found across the United States — numbering some 1 billion in 1996 — their numbers have declined by approximately 90 percent in recent years, a result of numerous threats, particularly loss of habitat due to agricultural practices, development and cropland conversion. Degradation of wintering habitat in Mexico and California has also had a negative impact on the species.
"Mayors and other local government officials play a pivotal role in advancing monarch butterfly conservation in urban and suburban areas," said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "By working together we can ensure that every American child has a chance to experience majestic monarchs in their backyards and communities."
Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, cities and municipalities commit to creating habitats and educating citizens on ways they can make a difference in their very own home. Mayors who take the pledge commit to at least 3 of 25 specific actions to help save the monarch butterfly. 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.
"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."
St. Louis sits at a pivotal migration point for monarchs, right in the middle of what is known as the Central Monarch Flyway. Concerned about the decline of this iconic species, as well as other pollinators like hummingbirds and bees, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has championed efforts in St. Louis to help save the monarch butterfly. Last spring, Mayor Slay launched "Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project," this project and other efforts of the City of St. Louis are connecting people with nature in urban areas while creating more monarch habitat in the city.