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Mayors' Monarch Pledge

Mayors and other local and tribal government chief executives are taking action to help save the monarch butterfly, an iconic species whose populations have declined by 90% in the last 20 years. Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors' Monarch Pledge, U.S. 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. Since the monarch's migration spans the United States, Mexico, and Canada, the pledge expanded to these countries through new tri-national partnerships in 2017. There are four steps to taking and implementing the pledge.

1. Take the Pledge

By taking the Mayors' Monarch Pledge, you are committing to both restore habitat in your community and encourage your citizens to do the same. Read the Mayors' Monarch Pledge language and then take the pledge online!

2. Specify Your Actions

We will follow up with the point person specified in the online pledge form and work to identify at least 3 specific actions that your community will initiate in the next year. Mayors who decide to take 8 or more actions will receive special recognition and become a member of the Mayors' Monarch Pledge Leadership Circle and those that take on every single action item will become a Monarch Champion City. Once these specific actions have been identified, communities will report their progress through a simple online survey form. Read the Mayors' Monarch Pledge Action Items and then specify which actions you will take.

3. Take Action

Once you have taken the pledge and specified which actions your community will take over the next year, it’s time to start taking action! Over the next several months, the National Wildlife Federation will be sharing best practices for cities and municipalities through our online resources section, occasional email updates, social media, and webinars. Please refer to our resources section below for more details.

4. Report Progress

Once you have specified your actions and begun to take action we will ask communities to fill out a simple reporting form on an annual basis. The reporting process will only take 5-20 minutes depending on how many action items you are reporting. The data we collect will allow us to track the collective outcomes and impact of our work.

Got questions? Please be sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not see your question answered, please contact

View the Mayors' Monarch Pledge Signatories >>

The Mayors' Monarch Pledge is an effort to engage mayors (or the principal leader of any city, town, county or HOA) in monarch butterfly conservation. Mayors that take the pledge will receive recognition on the National Wildlife Federation’s website. If your mayor is not already on the list of signatories, please take action to get them involved!

Research Your City

Download this letter encouraging all mayors to take the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors' Monarch Pledge, signed by National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O'Mara, US Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

If your mayor has not already taken the pledge, then you should do some online research about your city to see if they are currently implementing efforts related to monarchs, pollinators, natural resources, wildlife, sustainability or beautification. The best place to start is your city’s website or social media page(s) like Facebook and Twitter. You can also research what local non-profits are doing in this space – they could be excellent allies in your outreach. Examples include local garden clubs, Keep America Beautiful Affiliates, Wild One Chapters, NABA Butterfly Clubs and other local entities of the Million Pollinator Garden Network or the Monarch Joint Venture.

Reach Out to Your Mayor

Depending on the size of your community, you may know or have easy access to your mayor. In larger cities, you may wish to first connect with municipal leadership such as the city manager, sustainability director or director of parks and recreation. Many of these contacts can be tracked down through the city website or directory.

Send an email to your mayor or these leadership staff and ask them to sign the Mayors' Monarch Pledge. You can also request a meeting to discuss the pledge.

Through the Mayors' Monarch Pledge, the National Wildlife Federation seeks to share best practices and lessons learned for each of the 25 potential actions that mayors can take for the monarch butterfly. This page includes links to model polices and case studies of what mayors are doing for monarchs. Please also check out the “open” Facebook Group for real time sharing about the pledge. You can submit a best practice by posting to the Facebook Group or by emailing

Monarch Conservation in America's Cities: A Solutions Guide for Municipal Leaders

This guide is intended for mayors, local government chief executives, municipal staff and others that want to take action to help save the declining monarch butterfly in their community. This guide provides case studies and shares innovative best practices that can be replicated by municipalities across the nation. It includes model language for proclamations, ordinances and other best practices. By learning from one another and understanding what has worked (and what hasn’t) cities can more effectively and more quickly take action and make a difference for the monarch (and other pollinators too).



WEBINAR: Tackling Systems Change Action Items

On May 23, 2017, the National Wildlife Federation hosted a Mayors’ Monarch Pledge webinar with presentations from LaJuan Tucker, Program Coordinator for Wildlife Austin and Megan Tinsley, Policy Director for the New Jersey Audubon. This webinar focuses on the Systems Change Action items (#18-25), and what actions mayors, municipal leaders and communities across the country have taken to initiate systemic changes such as integrating monarch butterfly conservation into city sustainability plans or changing weed ordinances to allow for the planting of milkweed and other native nectar plants.

View the recorded webinar

Download the Power Point presentations from the webinar:

WEBINAR: Preparing Now for Spring Planting

On December 12, 2016, the National Wildlife Federation hosted a Mayors' Monarch Pledge webinar with presentations from Chip Taylor, Founder and Director of Monarch Watch, and Mary Phillips, Director of Garden for Wildlife at the National Wildlife Federation. This webinar focuses on steps that mayors, municipal leaders, and communities of all kinds can take to source native milkweeds for spring planting from the Monarch Watch Milkweed Market to local native plant nurseries, garden centers and non-profits that host plant sales like garden clubs and native plant societies.

View the recorded webinar

Download the Power Point presentations from the webinar:

WEBINAR: Lessons Learned from the First Year of the Mayors' Monarch Pledge

On September 28, 2016, the National Wildlife Federation hosted a Mayors’ Monarch Pledge webinar to present best practices and lessons learned during the first year of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge which was launched in September 2015. The webinar also share about work underway to create Urban Monarch Networks and City-Wide Monarch Conservation Plans, including a presentation from members of the Oklahoma City Monarch Network. The US Fish and Wildlife Service also presented about the pilot Urban Monarch Landscape Conservation Design project.

View the recorded webinar

Download the Power Point presentations from the webinar:


Mayors are issuing proclamations to help educate the public about the decline of the monarch butterfly and what citizens can do to take action. Proclamations have been issued on the day mayors take the pledge or other significant national or local days ranging from National Pollinator Week to the date of a local monarch butterfly festival.

Abandoned Lots:

Most municipalities have abandoned or vacant lands in their communities. These lands can be temporarily or permanently converted to monarch butterfly habitat. These habitats could be managed to produce milkweed seeds and plants for distribution at native plant sales or other events.

Austin, Texas:

This National Wildlife Federation's blog summarizes the recent actions of Mayor Steven Adler and the City of Austin and includes direct links to the May 2015 proclamation directing the city to plant more milkweed on its 27,000 acres of public lands and 500 municipal buildings.

St. Louis, Missouri:

This blog summarizes many of the initiatives underway in St. Louis, including Mayor Francis Slay’s Milkweed for Monarch program launched in 2014 that is continuing to grow today.

Northville, Michigan:

Like many smaller cities and towns, Northville’s noxious weed ordinance had not been updated in many years. Under the town’s old ordinance, dating back to 1962, milkweed was specifically prohibited. Northville passed an amendment to the noxious weed ordinance to adopt the state of Michigan’s listing of noxious and poisonous weeds which does not include milkweed on the noxious plant list. Northville intentionally tied their ordinance to the state guidelines because the state lists are updated on a more regular basis based on the best and most recent science. Cities that might wish to consider this approach should visit the U.S. Plant Database, which includes a helpful list of state noxious plant lists and policies.

Ordinance Language

Noxious and poisonous weeds means all species identified in the State of Michigan’s noxious weeds, and the restricted noxious weed list available from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, as established under Act 329 of 1965.