Restoring Monarch populations will require a true team effort including individuals, businesses, schools, communities, religious institutions, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The National Wildlife Federation has been working hard with key partners like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Monarch Joint Venture partners, and nearly a dozen of our State Affiliates to expand and restore critical habitat on the ground and reduce the misuse of pesticides.
—Collin O'Mara, President and CEO, The National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation has responded to the White House’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, in taking a lead in co-founding the National Pollinator Garden Network and has helped launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to mobilize and educate millions of Americans on the need to plant sustainable pollinator garden habitat. Co-founders of the NPGN include AmericanHort, Association of American Public Gardens, American Seed Trade Association, Kids Gardening, The National Garden Bureau and Pollinator Partnership. This unprecedented collaboration of over 40 national organizations representing conservation groups, garden clubs, the garden trade and federal agencies which collectively have outreach to millions of members, volunteers and professionals engaged in creating pollinator habitat and educating and inspiring others to do the same.
To directly tackle the challenges monarchs are facing, a cooperative effort between The National Wildlife Federation and USFWS will build a network of diverse conservation partners and stakeholders to protect and restore important monarch habitat, while also reaching out to Americans of all ages who can play a central role.
“We can save the monarch butterfly in North America, but only if we act quickly and together,” said Ashe. “And that is why we are excited to be working with the National Wildlife Federation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to engage Americans everywhere from schools, and community groups to corporations and governments in protecting and restoring habitat. Together we can create oases for monarchs in communities across the country.”
The memorandum of understanding between the National Wildlife Federation and the Service serves as a catalyst for national collaboration on monarch conservation, particularly in planting native milkweeds and nectar plants, the primary food sources in breeding and migration habitats for the butterfly. In addition, the National Wildlife Federation is working with USFWS to help 24 schools replicate habitat found at nearby national wildlife refuges, creating outdoor classrooms that will attract local pollinators.
The Monarch Joint Venture is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental agencies, and academic programs working together to protect monarchs and their migration. Our partners are experts in the fields of monarch conservation and education and are working to make colossal progress toward our ultimate goal of monarch conservation in the U.S.
The MJV brings together numerous conservation, research, and educational programs along with their respective resources in a coordinated effort to conserve monarch butterflies and their amazing migration. In 2014, The Monarch Joint Venture welcomed the National Wildlife Federation as a partner to strengthen monarch and pollinator conservation throughout their networks and programs. In addition to building awareness for the plight of the monarch, it is one of the National Wildlife Federation’s conservation goals to restore and protect wildlife habitat (focusing on butterflies and other pollinators) where Americans live, work, play, learn, and worship.
The National Wildlife Federation recognizes the increased need for native milkweed to restore monarch habitat across large landscapes, suburban and urban gardens and acknowledges the role the seed and nursery industries must play. To that end, the National Wildlife Federation coordinates with MJV partners, such as Xerces Society, Monarch Watch, other Monarch Joint Venture partners on materials, outreach and assessing supply of milkweed seed and plants available for habitat planting.
A joint partnership among United States Forest Service, the National Wildlife Federation, University of Delaware’s Professor Doug Tallamy to help gardeners, conservationists and other wildlife professionals to access the best native plants that attract the most species of butterflies and moths to host their young (caterpillars). Caterpillars are also critically important food source for birds to raise their young. And in doing so we help restore urban and suburban habitats for wildlife, including many important pollinators. This native plant database will include woody and herbaceous plants nationwide and allow visitors to the website to retrieve a list of the top 10 plants that attract the most lepidoptera for their county and state.
The State Department will also explore the potential for Department-owned properties with pollinator / native plant gardens to be recognized as a wildlife habitat. To accomplish this and support these efforts, the Department is exploring development of a cooperative relationship with the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat® program.
Fifteen embassies, consulates, missions, and ambassador’s residences have already received National Wildlife Federation Habitat Certifications in recognition of the biologically diverse and wildlife friendly nature of the facilities. The Department will seek, subject to the availability of resources, to have additional missions certified.
NYC Eco-Schools’ Growing a Wild Brooklyn and Queens program is a partnership with the National Park Service (Gateway National Recreation Area – 6 million visitors a year, 6th most in the country). Currently 12 NYC DOE K-12 schools are enrolled in this pollinator recovery program that includes the creation of pollinator-friendly school gardens, native habitat restoration at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, and phenology-based citizen science. To learn more, read about the program from United Federation of Teachers magazine and a teacher’s perspective from The New York Times.