The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Program Year

2024

Links and Uploads

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Action Item Report

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City of Des Moines

Des Moines, IA

Connie Boesen

Mayor

Pledge Summary

The City of Des Moines Iowa has a new mayor for 2024 and she is dedicated to continuing the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. Mayor Connie Boesen comes to office proud of the Monarch Conservation that Des Moines has already provided and excited to support even more actions in 2024. The City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation along with the Blank Park Zoo, Science Center of Iowa, and Des Moines Botanical Center all work together to promote and provide support for Monarch Conservation in our beautiful city. Mayor Boesen is committed to conservation and sustainable practices that enhance our city and provide habitat for monarch butterflies, pollinators, and wildlife in our city.

Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for 2024

Communications and Convening

  • Launch or maintain a public communication effort to encourage residents to plant monarch gardens at their homes or in their neighborhoods. (If you have community members who speak a language other than English, we encourage you to also communicate in that language; Champion Pledges must communicate in that language.)
  • Engage with community garden groups and urge them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants.
  • Engage with city parks and recreation, public works, sustainability, and other relevant staff to identify opportunities to revise and maintain mowing programs and milkweed / native nectar plant planting programs.
  • Engage with Homeowners Associations (HOAs), Community Associations or neighborhood organizations to identify opportunities to plant monarch gardens and revise maintenance and mowing programs.
  • Engage with developers, planners, landscape architects, and other community leaders and organizers engaged in planning processes to identify opportunities to create monarch habitat.
  • Create a community-driven educational conservation strategy, initiative, or practice that focuses on and benefits local, underserved residents.

Program and Demonstration Gardens

  • Host or support a native seed or plant sale, giveaway or swap.
  • Facilitate or support a milkweed seed collection and propagation effort.
  • Plant or maintain a monarch and pollinator-friendly demonstration garden at City Hall or another prominent or culturally significant community location.
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants along roadsides, medians, or public rights-of-way.
  • Launch or maintain an outdoor education program(s) (e.g., at schools, after-school programs, community centers and groups) that builds awareness and creates habitat by engaging students, educators, and the community in planting native milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants (i.e., National Wildlife Federation’s Schoolyard Habitats program and Monarch Mission curriculum).
  • Earn or maintain recognition for being a wildlife-friendly city by participating in other wildlife and habitat conservation efforts (i.e., National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitat program).
  • Initiate or support community science (or citizen science) efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
  • Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar-producing plants in gardens in the community.
  • Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Host or support a monarch butterfly festival that is accessible to all residents in the community and promotes monarch and pollinator conservation, as well as cultural awareness and recognition.
  • Display educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitat.

Systems Change

  • Remove milkweed from the list of noxious plants in city weed / landscaping ordinances (if applicable).
  • Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.
  • Launch, expand, or continue an effort to change municipal planting ordinances and practices to include more native milkweed and native nectar producing plants at city properties.
  • Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals that are harmful to monarchs and pollinators and urban wildlife.