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Pledge Action Items

Mayors and local or tribal government chief executives who have taken the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge must commit to implement at least three of the 25 following action items within a year of taking the pledge. At least one action must be taken from the “Program & Demonstration Gardens” section. 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. The National Wildlife Federation will follow up with all mayoral points of contact with an annual survey to monitor progress.

Communications & Convening:

  1. Issue a Proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitat.
  2. Launch a public communication effort to encourage citizens to plant monarch gardens at their homes or in their neighborhoods.
  3. Communicate with community garden groups and urge them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants.
  4. Convene city park and public works department staff and identify opportunities for revised mowing programs and milkweed / native nectar plant planting programs.
  5. Convene a meeting with gardening leaders in the community to discuss partnerships to support monarch butterfly conservation.

Program & Demonstration Gardens:

  1. Host or support a native plant sale or milkweed seed giveaway event.
  2. Facilitate or support a milkweed seed collection and propagation effort.
  3. Plant a monarch-friendly demonstration garden at City Hall or another prominent location.
  4. Convert abandoned lots to monarch habitat.
  5. Plant milkweed and native nectar plants in medians and public rights-of-way.
  6. Launch a program to plant native milkweeds and nectar plants in school gardens by engaging students, teachers and the community.
  7. Earn recognition for being a wildlife-friendly city by expanding your action plan to include other wildlife and habitat conservation efforts through a program like the National Wildlife Federation's Community Wildlife Habitat program.
  8. Create a monarch neighborhood challenge to engage neighborhoods and homeowners’ associations within the city to create habitat for the monarch butterfly.
  9. Initiate or support citizen-science efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
  10. Add milkweed and nectar producing plants in community gardens.
  11. Expand invasive species removal programs to make it possible to re-establish native milkweed and nectar plants to the landscape.
  12. Host or support a city monarch butterfly festival.

Systems Change:

  1. Remove milkweed from the list of noxious plants in city weed / landscaping ordinances (if applicable).
  2. Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.
  3. Increase the percentage of native plants, shrubs and trees that must be used in city landscaping ordinances and encourage use of milkweed where appropriate.
  4. Direct city property managers to consider the use of native milkweed and nectar plants at city properties where appropriate.
  5. Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
  6. Change landscape ordinances to support integrated pest management and reduced use of pesticides and insecticides.
  7. Adopt pesticides practices that are not harmful to pollinators.
  8. California Specific: Pass a resolution to protect over-wintering monarch butterfly habitat on public and private lands.

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