From bees to bats and butterflies to beetles, pollinators play a pivotal role in our ecosystem. Bees are among our most important pollinators, with bee populations providing nearly one-third of our food supply and allowing wild plants to produce the foods that form the base of the natural food web. The iconic monarch butterfly, another impressive pollinator, spreads pollen as it feeds on the nectar of wildflowers while undertaking its stunning 3,000-mile migration from Canada to Mexico and back each year.
Yet pollinators worldwide are in decline—with habitat loss, disease, and pesticides largely to blame.
The good news: Everyone can take actions, big or small, to aid in the recovery of these incredible species. Learn how to get involved with the Garden for Wildlife movement and help pollinators thrive.
Create an outdoor space using native plants that attract monarchs and other pollinators. Once you’ve incorporated all the elements of a wildlife-friendly habitat—food, water, cover, and places to raise young—be recognized by certifying your space through Garden for Wildlife’s signature Certified Wildlife Habitat program. Every $20 application fee helps further protect and restore key habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Every certified garden also counts toward meeting the goals of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.
Butterfly Heroes is an initiative that connects gardeners and kids and families alike to help monarch butterflies and other pollinators. By taking a pledge to be a Butterfly Hero, pledgers are committing to create new habitat for monarchs.
Plant a pollinator-friendly garden on your school grounds that doubles as an outdoor learning environment. Use your garden to aid in monarch recovery efforts by planting milkweed, cultivating native nectar plants, avoiding insecticides, and getting students involved in citizen science efforts. Discover tips for getting started and maintaining your schoolyard garden.
Using local schools, gardens, and parks as real-life learning laboratories, the Growing a Wild NYC program teaches kids about local pollinators, their habitats, and the causes of their decline. Students also learn basic gardening techniques to grow the native plant species that pollinators need to survive.
College and university students, faculty, and staff can take action on campus to provide healthy habitat for pollinators. By taking the Campus Pollinator Pledge, campuses commit to providing healthy habitat through creation, restoration, and protection efforts, and to engage and educate their campus community about the importance of these species.
Cities, towns, counties, and neighborhoods across the country are taking action as Community Wildlife Habitats to support pollinators. As a participating community, these actions include:
Through the Mayors' Monarch Pledge, cities, municipalities, and other communities are committing to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators, and to educate citizens about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.
The National Wildlife Federation provides support to select major cities in the Central Monarch Flyway to create city-specific monarch conservation plans. In each city, the National Wildlife Federation helps bring together numerous partners to build local monarch networks that collaborate on projects and initiatives throughout the community.
Get involved with statewide efforts through one of the National Wildlife Federation’s affiliate partners.
Examples of state support include:
Develop a unified communication strategy and identify opportunities to share resources. Read our guide for information on how to plan a statewide Monarch Summit.