The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status


Pledge Date

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Program Year


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Alan Casavant


Pledge Summary

Biddeford, Maine is a city of approximately 22,000 people. It is located on the Saco River, as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Possessing a robust downtown, the city has undergone a renaissance, with many new shops, restaurants, and breweries. The city is home to the University of New England and Southern Maine Health Care, and it is recognized as the youngest city in Maine. The Mayor and the City Council have signed onto the Monarch Pledge in recent years, and it has done so in a partnership with a hugely successful community garden program. City departments are aware of the need to protect pollinators, and they have adapted to changes in the way their typical activities and programs are done.

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Community Spotlight

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.
  • 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

  • Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar producing plants in community gardens.
  • 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).

Systems Change

  • Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
  • 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.