The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Program Year

2024

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Action Item Report

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City of Watertown

Watertown, MA

George Proakis

City Manager

Pledge Summary

Watertown is a city in the greater Boston area with a population of just over 35,000. Our community, though highly urbanized, boasts important natural resources, from protected open space along the Charles River to our growing number of pocket parks and community gardens. City Manager George Proakis has committed to protecting and promoting pollinator species such as the monarch butterfly by signing the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and looks forward to engaging residents, businesses, and neighborhood groups on the importance of providing pollinator habitat throughout the city.

Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for 2024

Communications and Convening

  • Create a community art project to enhance and promote monarch and pollinator conservation as well as cultural awareness and recognition.
  • Create a community-driven educational conservation strategy, initiative, or practice that focuses on and benefits local, underserved residents.
  • Engage with developers, planners, landscape architects, and other community leaders and organizers engaged in planning processes to identify opportunities to create monarch habitat.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.)

Program and Demonstration Gardens

  • Display educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitat.
  • Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Initiate or support community science (or citizen science) efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
  • Host or support a monarch neighborhood challenge to engage neighborhoods and homeowners' associations within the community to increase awareness, support community unity around a common mission, and/or create habitat for the monarch butterfly.
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants along roadsides, medians, or public rights-of-way.

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.
  • Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.