The monarch butterfly is one of North America’s most recognizable species, but monarchs have suffered a population decline upward of 90 percent in recent decades. This is an indicator of habitat decline and stress that all pollinators are facing. For monarchs, the decline is inextricably linked to a decline in milkweed, the invertebrate’s only caterpillar host plant. Without milkweed, monarchs can’t complete their life cycle and populations plummet.
The National Wildlife Federation is restoring the monarch’s habitat by engaging communities in recovery efforts and empowering people to grow native plants like milkweed in the places where they live, work, learn, play, and worship. The scale of monarch habitat decline is vast.
Keep Scottsdale Beautiful has helped to bring awareness of this issue to the City of Scottsdale and we asked the city to take action by participating in the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, a tri-national initiative with the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, where Mayors and other local and tribal government chief executives are taking action to help save the monarch butterfly. Under the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, communities commit to creating habitat for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, and to educating citizens about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.
In January 2020, Keep Scottsdale Beautiful board members were present during a City Council Meeting to witness the passing of Resolution 11687, authorizing the city to enter into the National Wildlife Federation Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.
To date 400 mayors – including those in Brooklyn, New York; Houston, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri, Oakland, California; and most recently, Scottsdale, Arizona – have made the pledge to take specific actions for monarchs. The Mid-America Monarch Conservation Strategy, which includes an “all hands on deck” approach, recommends creating urban monarch habitat and highlights the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge as one of the best ways to do this.
If you’d like to help save the monarch butterfly by creating your own pollinator garden, visit the National Wildlife Federation for some helpful tips!