The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status


Pledge Date

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Program Year


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Town of Normal

Normal, IL

Chris Koos


Pledge Summary

The Town of Normal, home of Illinois State University, is located in Central Illinois. Glaciers had created the prairie land that originally covered the northern two-thirds of the state. The monarch butterfly, the state insect, lived on these prairies. Illinois had become known as "The Prairie State." But unfortunately, most of Illinois ' prairies are gone. The majority of these lands were converted to agricultural fields. The Town of Normal is committed to preserving and restoring native prairie plantings that serves both as an aesthetic and recreational amenity while providing wildlife habitat, especially for the monarch butterfly.

Community Spotlight


Perennial plants outgrow annuals in Normal

Landscape beds in Normal's parks and at many municipal facilities were comprised primarily of annual flower beds. Horticulturalists have converted most of these beds to perennial pollinators. The revisions should be completed by the summer of 2023.


Fransen Nature Area Explodes

Wildflowers were abundant in the Fransen Nature Area this season, providing high levels of nectar for our local pollinators. The park is a favorite for photography enthusiasts.


Underwood Park Monarch Butterfly Fun Fact Signs

An educational component was added the Underwood Park prairie, emphasizing our commitment to preserving and restoring native prairie plants that provide much needed habitat for the monarch butterfly.


Monarchs in Maxwell

The redesigned disc golf course in Maxwell Park continues to provide native habitat for the monarch butterfly. Milkweed, goldenrod, and other nectar producing wildflowers are actively growing in the tallgrass areas on the course.

Action Items Committed for 2023

Communications and Convening

  • 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.

Program and Demonstration Gardens

  • 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.
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants in medians and public rights-of-way.

Systems Change

  • Direct city property managers to consider the use of native milkweed and nectar plants at city properties where possible.