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The Mayors Monarch Pledge is a program created by the National Wildlife Federation to encourage mayors and their communities to take a pledge to help the dwindling Monarch Butterfly population. In recent years the Monarch Butterfly population has plummeted at an alarming rate. Both the western and eastern monarch populations have seen significant declines in the past few decades. Less than one percent of the western monarch population remains, while the eastern population has fallen by as much as ninety percent. Habitat loss is one of the major factors that contributes to this decline. The Mayors Monarch Pledge tries to combat this habitat loss by encouraging communities to grow native nectar plants and milkweed in public areas like parks and libraries, at schools, and even your own backyards. These gardens will give Monarch important habitat to rest, eat, lay eggs, and help pollinate plants in the community. Planting Monarch gardens will not only help ensure future generations of Monarch, but will also turn your community in to a wonderland of beautiful flowers and plants.
Iowa Cities Taking the Pledge
Serval Iowa communities have already made the Monarch Pledge for 2022. For example, Des Moines and Coralville have taken the pledge to help create and maintain Monarch habitat in their cities. Des Moines has taken steps to increase Monarch habitats by growing gardens including Milkweed around public areas and medians. Additionally, they have been educating citizens and public workers on how to protect and grow their own monarch habitat. Coralville has not only removed milkweed from their city list of noxious plants but are supporting and encouraging a milkweed seed collection effort.
Monarch Habitat Mapping
Even if your mayor doesn’t take the pledge you can do your part by planting your own Monarch garden and spreading the word around your community. When planting your monarch garden, make sure to use the HabiTally app to map the new habitat you created. The app was developed as a collaboration between Bayer and The Climate Corporation, with support from Iowa State University’s Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology. The app is available as a free download on iOS and Android devices from the App Store by searching "HabiTally monarchs".
How to take the Pledge
Are you a city official or Mayor? Or maybe just a city resident who would like to encourage your city leaders to consider signing the pledge? Head to https://www.nwf.org/mayorsmonarchportal to find more information on what it means to take the pledge and how to take the pledge.