The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status


Pledge Date

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Program Year


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Action Item Report

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Village of Northbrook

Northbrook, IL

Kathryn Ciesla

Village President

Pledge Summary

The Village of Northbrook is a northern suburb of Chicago with a population of over 35,000. We are proud to be the home of some of the highest quality nature preserves in Illinois: Somme Preserves. Thanks to our volunteer ecological stewards who have been dedicated to natural restoration in our area since the 1970s, many rare plants and endangered animals nest or pass by our community during migratory periods. Through the Northbrook Climate Action Plan, the Village is committed to reducing community-wide carbon emissions and fostering environmental sustainability.

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Community Spotlight


Village Hall Demonstration Garden

To commit to the Mayors Monarch Pledge, the Village Hall Demonstration Garden was revitalized in 2020 and is now flourishing with a diversity of native plants. This garden is being monitored with the Field Museum's Community Science Monarch project.

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Milkweed Giveaway

In 2022, the Village gave away 514 native trees, 180 shrubs, 250 native plants, and over 600 seed packets containing milkweed and sunflowers.


Free Signs for Monarch Gardens

In Northbrook, residential gardens that sustain Monarchs during their annual migration are eligible to receive a “Let’s Make Northbrook a Monarch Way Station” garden sign.

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Earth-Friendly Food Growing Education

Northbrook installed a vegetable garden between our Village Hall and Library that provides educational workshops to inform residents on how to grow food without pesticides. The harvest is donated to our local food pantry.

Action Items Committed for 2023

Communications and Convening

  • Issue a Proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitat.
  • Create a community art project to enhance and promote monarch and pollinator conservation as well as cultural awareness and recognition.
  • Create a community-driven educational conservation strategy that focuses on and benefits local, underserved residents.
  • Engage with developers, planners, landscape architects, and other community leaders and organizers engaged in planning processes to identify opportunities to create monarch habitat.
  • Engage with gardening leaders and partners (e.g., Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Nature Centers, Native Plant Society Chapters , other long-standing and influential community leaders) to support monarch butterfly conservation.
  • Engage with city parks and recreation, public works, sustainability, and other relevant staff to identify opportunities to revise and maintain mowing programs and milkweed / native nectar plant planting programs.
  • Engage with community garden groups and urge them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants.
  • Launch or maintain a public communication effort to encourage residents to plant monarch gardens at their homes or in their neighborhoods. (If you have community members who speak a language other than English, we encourage you to also communicate in that language; Champion Pledges must communicate in that language.)

Program and Demonstration Gardens

  • Display educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitat.
  • Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar producing plants in community gardens.
  • Initiate or support community science (or citizen science) efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
  • Earn or maintain recognition for being a wildlife-friendly city by participating in other wildlife and habitat conservation efforts (i.e., National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitat program).
  • Launch or maintain an outdoor education program(s) (e.g., at schools, after-school programs, community centers and groups) that builds awareness and creates habitat by engaging students, educators, and the community in planting native milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants (i.e., National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA Schoolyard Habitats program and Monarch Mission curriculum).
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants in medians and public rights-of-way.
  • Plant or maintain a monarch and pollinator-friendly demonstration garden at City Hall or another prominent or culturally significant community location.
  • Facilitate or support a milkweed seed collection and propagation effort.
  • Host or support a native seed or plant sale, giveaway or swap.

Systems Change

  • Change ordinances so herbicides, insecticides, or other chemicals used in the community are not harmful to pollinators.
  • Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
  • Direct city property managers to consider the use of native milkweed and nectar plants at city properties where possible.
  • Increase the percentage of native plants, shrubs and trees that must be used in city landscaping ordinances and encourage use of milkweed, where appropriate.
  • Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.
  • Adopt ordinances that support reducing light pollution.