The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Program Year

2024

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Action Item Report

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BIDDEFORD

BIDDEFORD, ME

Martin Grohman

Mayor

Pledge Summary

Biddeford is a beautiful city on the Saco River, with miles of coastal beaches, a developed downtown, and rolling farmland. There are 14 public parks and four community gardens in Biddeford. In 2023, the city finalized its Climate Action Plan and will be forming a Sustainability Commission spring of 2024. Since our first Mayors' Monarch Pledge in 2021, we are committed to educating the public about the importance of the Monarch Butterfly by encouraging our citizenry to mow less, reduce or end the use of pesticides and herbicides, and incorporate more native plantings in their gardens. We are increasing education in the schools through garden and arts programming. And we will hold our third annual Spring Pollinator Festival in May.

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Community Spotlight

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Monarch at Williams Court

Each year, we continue to add wildflowers and native plantings to each of our four community gardens.

Action Items Committed for 2024

Communications and Convening

  • Issue a proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitat. This proclamation must incorporate a focus on monarch conservation.
  • 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 gardening leaders and partners (e.g., Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Nature Centers, Native Plant Society Chapters , other long-standing and influential community leaders) to support monarch butterfly conservation.
  • Create a community art project to enhance and promote monarch and pollinator conservation as well as cultural awareness and recognition.

Program and Demonstration Gardens

  • 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).
  • Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar-producing plants in gardens in the community.
  • 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.

Systems Change

  • Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.
  • Increase the percentage of native plants, shrubs and trees that must be used in city landscaping ordinances and encourage use of milkweed, where appropriate.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals that are harmful to monarchs and pollinators and urban wildlife.