Record Number of Cities Commit to Take Action to Protect Iconic Monarch Butterfly, Pollinators

Cities including Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, and Atlanta Join Pledge

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Wildlife Federation welcomed over 325 new pledges to its Mayors’ Monarch Pledge program, in which mayors of cities across North America commit to creating pollinator-friendly habitats and engaging residents to help save the declining monarch butterfly and other pollinators. The program, created in 2015, has partnered with over 900 mayors and heads of local and tribal governments across the country to help protect this important species.

“From Oakland, California, to Charlotte, North Carolina, mayors are taking the pledge to save the monarch butterfly while helping engage their residents in wildlife and habitat conservation,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior director of community wildlife at the National Wildlife Federation. “By creating habitats and planting butterfly-friendly plants in urban areas, we can help reverse the steep decline of monarch populations and ensure that future generations can enjoy their beauty and learn about their unique migration.”

This year’s commitments include an explicit statement from every mayor to intentionally engage all parts of the community, ensuring that historically marginalized communities are not left out of the work or the many benefits this work will create. Specific commitments include 209 planned demonstration gardens, 142 native plant giveaway and swap events, and more than 100 policy and ordinance changes to support the creation and conservation of monarch habitat.

“We want to perpetuate the beauty and environmental health of The Woodlands, and what better way than by supporting monarch butterflies,” said The Woodlands Township Chairman Gordy Bunch. “We salute the work of our Environmental Services team in bringing this honor and opportunity to The Woodlands.” The Texas city was recently awarded the Monarch Champion designation for their work in 2020 and has committed to 29 actions in the program for 2021.

The program also welcomed back the City of San Diego, CA for its third year in the program. “Signing on to the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge for 2021 demonstrates our commitment to protecting our environment today and for generations to come,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “Pollinators like monarch butterflies are a key part of San Diego’s precious biodiversity that help maintain the beauty and sustainability of our region. We look forward to continued progress on building awareness among residents and leading by example as a City with native, pollinator-friendly landscaping.”

Monarch butterfly populations across the United States have faced steep declines due to loss of habitat and the effects of climate change. Across North America, cities have committed to the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to create native habitat in public parks, city landscaping, roadsides, medians, green roofs, community gardens, backyards, and open spaces throughout their communities to help support and recover populations of butterflies and other pollinators.

For more information about the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, please go to: NWF.org/MayorsMonarchPledge

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