The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status


Pledge Date

Friday, March 31, 2023

Program Year


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City of Hot Springs

Hot Springs, AR

Pat McCabe


Pledge Summary

Hot Springs is the most popular tourist destination in the state of Arkansas with nearly 7 million annual visitors. It is located just southwest of the state capital of Arkansas with a population of more than 38,000 residents. As a part of the Natural State, the city of Hot Springs is nestled alongside Hot Springs National Park, also known as the first U.S. National Reservation, as well as the Ouachita National Forest and two state parks. It is surrounded by three man-made lakes, one of which is the largest lake in the state and also consistently ranked one of the cleanest lakes in the nation. In addition to the state/federal attractions, the City of Hot Springs boasts of having 22 parks within and surrounding the city limits, along with the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail. Between all these entities, Hot Springs has more than 100 miles of hiking/walking trails. In an effort to bring awareness to pollinators, the City of Hot Springs partners with community groups such as the Master Gardeners and Arkansas Master Naturalists, Diamond Lakes Division (DLAMN) to host a variety of presentations and educational events at pollinator areas on city-owned parks and trails. This includes the popular Monarch Butterfly releases held at the Monarch Butterfly Garden on the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail, which was created with the help of DLAMN. By signing the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, Hot Springs Mayor Pat McCabe has committed to continue to save the monarch butterfly and other pollinators and looks forward to engaging residents in pollinator education and building more pollinator habitats throughout the city.

Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for 2023

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 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Initiate or support community science (or citizen science) efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
  • 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

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