The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Friday, March 29, 2024

Program Year

2024

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Action Item Report

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City of Lakeland

Lakeland, FL

Bill Mutz

Mayor

Pledge Summary

Lakeland is a city in Central Florida with a current population of 126,248 and a population growth of 2.51% annually. Lakeland is located just south of the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve and has 38 named lakes within its city limits. Lakeland prides itself in having 76 park facilities and an urban forest consisting of 65,000 plus trees. Hollis Garden, Lakeland's downtown botanical display garden, is a Certified Butterfly Garden with the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and many other park areas throughout the city are dedicated to native plantings that provide habitats for Monarch Butterflies and other pollinators. This includes Crago Park and a 1.2-acre wetland prairie dedicated specifically to Monarchs. Mayor Mutz of Lakeland, Florida has committed to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators by signing the Mayor's Monarch Pledge and looks forward to engaging residents in building more pollinator habitats throughout the city.

Community Spotlight

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Asclepias perennis sprouted seeds

We harvested and grew the seeds at the City of Lakeland Nursery.

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.
  • 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.

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.
  • Convert vacant lots to monarch habitat.
  • Display educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitat.

Systems Change

  • Increase the percentage of native plants, shrubs and trees that must be used in city landscaping ordinances and encourage use of milkweed, where appropriate.