The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status


Pledge Date

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Program Year


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Action Item Report

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City of Lakeland

Lakeland, FL

Bill Mutz


Pledge Summary

Lakeland is a city in Central Florida with a current population of 117,281 and a population growth of 1.48%. Lakeland is located just south of the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve and has 38 named lakes within its city limits. Lakeland prides itself in having 76 park facilities and an urban forest consisting of 65,000 plus trees. Hollis Garden, Lakeland's downtown botanical display garden, is a Certified Butterfly Garden with the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and many other park areas throughout the city are dedicated to native plantings that provide habitats for Monarch Butterflies and other pollinators. Mayor Mutz of Lakeland, Florida has committed to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators by signing the Mayor's Monarch Pledge and looks forward to engaging residents in building more pollinator habitats throughout the city.

Community Spotlight


Asclepias perennis sprouted seeds

We harvested and grew the seeds at the City of Lakeland Nursery.

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 Homeowners Associations (HOAs), Community Associations or neighborhood organizations to identify opportunities to plant monarch gardens and revise maintenance and mowing 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).
  • Convert vacant lots to monarch habitat.
  • 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

  • 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.