The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Monday, March 25, 2024

Program Year

2024

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Action Item Report

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City of Greensboro

Greensboro, NC

Nancy Vaughan

Mayor

Pledge Summary

The City of Greensboro resides in the piedmont region of North Carolina with a population of roughly 300,000. Greensboro manages nearly 12,000 acres of parks and open spaces with assets including public gardens, regional and neighborhood parks, beautification areas, over 100 miles of trails and greenways, lakes, several community gardens, and numerous other passive and active recreational amenities and facilities. Through the establishment of multiple pollinator gardens and meadows, the development of educational signage and programming, and the identification of an ongoing need to reduce mowing and increase native habitat, the city has taken steps toward supporting our natural environment. Mayor Vaughan of Greensboro, NC has committed to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators with the signing of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and looks forward to further engaging residents in expanding pollinator habitat throughout the city. Recently the City has enacted policy requiring the use of native plants in new landscape plantings throughout City property while eliminating the use of invasive plants. Current efforts that the City of Greensboro is undertaking to support monarch habitats are the Bird & Butterfly Meadow at Price Park, pollinator gardens at the Keeley Park Community Garden, Wovenworks Park, and the Meeting Place Cornerstone along the Downtown Greenway, a partnership with the Guilford County Extension Master Gardeners to provide environmental education (currently virtual) and multiple community partnerships for smaller pollinator gardens in parks. Additional extensive efforts by City of Greensboro involve partnering with Greensboro Beautiful at the Greensboro Arboretum, which includes a formal butterfly garden, a certified Monarch Waystation, interpretive signage specifically dedicated to monarchs, and an Ornamental Grass and Pollinator Meadow. The Pollinator Meadow includes Asclepias among its perennial plantings and features interpretive signage dedicated to broader pollinator preservation. Monarch butterflies have seen a decline in the past 50 years and by informing the public and plants for this species, the Greensboro Science Center plays a critical role in helping save these unique and crucial animals. The Greensboro Science Center is home to three butterfly gardens located throughout the zoo and is the home of the Cole Family Butterfly House and Monarch Conservation Project. The horticulture staff at the Greensboro Science Center maintain the gardens, which contain butterfly loving plants including milkweed. Water from rain collecting barrels help to irrigate the gardens. The Cole Family Butterfly House and Monarch Conservation Project spotlights native butterfly species, with a special emphasis on the iconic, but diminishing, monarch butterfly and creates a lush, verdant garden space that will bring attention to the life and plight of monarch butterflies; serves as another focal-point species to the Greensboro Science Center's new Conservation & Research Department; informs the community of the importance of planting milkweed (monarch caterpillars’ sole source of food); creates a fun and dynamic seasonal exhibit filled with native butterflies; and adds a new educational experience focused on pollinators and their importance.

Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for 2024

Program and Demonstration Gardens

  • Host or support a native seed or plant sale, giveaway or swap.
  • Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Systems Change

  • 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.