The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Friday, February 5, 2021

Program Year

Program Year 2021

Links and Uploads

View Links and Uploads

Action Item Report

Download Report

The Woodlands Township

The Woodlands, TX

Gordy Bunch

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Pledge Summary

The Woodlands Township is a master-planned community located 30 miles north of downtown Houston, Texas with a population of 120,000. The Township is home to 148 parks, 220 miles of hike and bike trails, and includes more than 28,000 acres of forested land. The Woodlands Township Board of Directors has committed to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators with their signing of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and has contributed $5,000 annually to programs, educational resources, and events that support these efforts. Over the past few years, The Woodlands Township had led many efforts to engage residents including propagating and distributing more than 14,000 native milkweed plants, registering more than 100 pollinator gardens throughout the community, and converting numerous public spaces to pollinator and wildlife habitats.

Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for Program Year 2021

Communications and Convening

  • 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.)
  • Engage with community garden groups and urge them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants.
  • 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 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 Homeowners Associations (HOAs), Community Associations or neighborhood organizations to identify opportunities to plant monarch gardens and revise maintenance and mowing programs.
  • Engage with developers, planners, landscape architects, and other community leaders and organizers engaged in planning processes to identify opportunities to create monarch habitat.
  • Create a community-driven educational conservation strategy that focuses on and benefits local, underserved residents.
  • Create a community art project to enhance and promote monarch and pollinator conservation as well as cultural awareness and recognition.
  • Issue a Proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitat.

Program and Demonstration Gardens

  • Host or support a native seed or plant sale, giveaway or swap.
  • Facilitate or support a milkweed seed collection and propagation effort.
  • Plant or maintain a monarch and pollinator-friendly demonstration garden at City Hall or another prominent or culturally significant community location.
  • Convert vacant lots to monarch habitat.
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants in medians and public rights-of-way.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Host or support a monarch neighborhood challenge to engage neighborhoods and homeowners' associations within the community to increase awareness, support community unity around a common mission, and/or create habitat for the monarch butterfly.
  • Initiate or support community science (or citizen science) efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
  • Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar producing plants in community 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.
  • Host or support a monarch butterfly festival that is accessible to all residents in the community and promotes monarch and pollinator conservation, as well as cultural awareness and recognition.
  • Display educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitat.

Systems Change

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