Village of Antioch, IL March 12, 2021– The Village of Antioch has signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, committing to take actions to help save the declining monarch butterfly and other pollinators. The Village of Antioch is now part of an expanding North American network of cities working to create habitat in public parks, public landscaping, vacant lots, roadsides, medians, green roofs, backyard gardens and open spaces throughout the entire community.
“Cities, towns and counties play a pivotal role in advancing monarch butterfly conservation in urban and suburban areas,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior director of community wildlife at the National Wildlife Federation. “By working together, we can ensure that every American child has a chance to experience majestic monarchs in their communities.”
“This project was initially brought to us by Joanne Dugenske and Joyce Kufalk from the Antioch Garden Club, looking for community involvement to help support the monarch,” said Mayor Lawrence M. Hanson. “With National Wildlife Week just around the corner in early April, I thought of no greater time to issue the proclamation calling public attention to the decline of the butterfly and pledging the Village of Antioch’s support for the iconic species.”
In addition to issuing the proclamation, the Public Works Department also worked with the Antioch Garden club to have milkweed planted in Pedersen Park.
Found across the United States, monarch butterflies numbered around 1 billion in 1996. Today, their numbers have declined significantly as a result of numerous threats, particularly the loss of habitat due to cropland conversion, urban development, and agricultural practices. Degradation of wintering habitat in Mexico and California has also had a negative impact on the species.
Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, cities and municipalities commit each year to create habitat and educate residents on how to make a difference at home or in their community. Mayors who take the pledge commit to at least three of 30 action items to help save the monarch butterfly. These actions include creating a monarch-friendly garden at city hall, converting abandoned lots to monarch habitat, changing mowing schedules to allow milkweed to grow unimpeded, and 27 other possible actions.
Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Programs, cities, counties and towns across the United States are helping local wildlife by restoring and reconnecting habitat in urban and suburban areas while reconnecting people with nature. For more information about the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, please go to: NWF.org/MayorsMonarchPledge.
Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.