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Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock Takes the National Wildlife Federation’s “Mayors’ Monarch Pledge” to Help Save the Monarch Butterfly

“With this pledge, the City of Denver continues to be a leader in the West and the nation in creating sustainable cities for people and nature”

Denver, COLORADO – Today, Denver Mayor B. Michael Hancock took the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, continuing to commit to sustainable practices that help the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. Denver is now part of a national collaboration of mayors and local government chief executives helping to save the declining monarch butterfly. 
Mayor Hancock’s pledge marks the first time the pledge has been taken by a mayor in Colorado, and Denver is the largest city in the Rocky Mountain Region to do so.

“Denver is committed to establishing and restoring habitat for the monarch butterfly and we encourage our residents to do the same,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock, “By doing this, we are creating sustainable practices that will support the increase of native pollinating insects in our city, which is important to the health and beauty of Denver.”  

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) continues to renovate gardens throughout the Denver park system to incorporate native pollinator plants, shrubs, perennials and milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s exclusive food source. DPR cultivates milkweed species for planting in parks and public spaces as well as distributes to local community gardens and volunteer organizations throughout Denver. In the spring of 2017, DPR will incorporate pollinator plants as part of a newly designed flowerbed garden at the Denver City and County Building. 

While monarchs are found across the United States — numbering some 1 billion in 1996 — their numbers have declined by 90% in recent years; a result of numerous threats, particularly loss of habitat due to agricultural practices, development and cropland conversion.

“With this pledge, the City of Denver continues to be a leader in the West and the nation in creating sustainable cities for people and nature,” said Brian Kurzel, the Executive Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain Regional Center. “By working together we can ensure that every American child has a chance to experience majestic monarchs in their backyards and communities.” 

Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Jerry Tinianow, will announce the pledge on behalf of Mayor Hancock this evening at a reception for the 4th Americas Latino Eco Festival (ALEF). As the largest U.S Latino environmental convening, ALEF seeks to elevate the voices of communities of color, and of women in conservation and cultural leadership, fostering collaboration to better tackle environmental problems from many angles, and using art and culture to communicate environmental awareness and shared values. The four themes of this year’s ALEF include: People and Forests, Restoration and Public Lands, Acting on Climate Change, and Protecting and Honoring Environmental Fighters in the Americas and around the Globe.

The announcement at ALEF will coincide with the global launch of “Share the Love” (The Pollinator Song) an original song by youth recording artist Brooke Leifer, produced in partnership with the U.S Forest Service, that seeks to help children and adults learn more about the importance of pollinators in our everyday lives. 

Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, cities and municipalities commit to create habitat and educate citizens on ways they can make a difference at home or in their community. Mayors who take the pledge commit to at least three of 25 action items 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.

Learn more at NWF.org/MayorsMonarchPledge and www.americaslatinoecofestival.org and get more updates from the National Wildlife Federation at NWF.org/News.

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