The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Program Year

2024

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Action Item Report

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Village of Wauconda

Wauconda, IL

Jeff A. Sode

Mayor

Pledge Summary

Wauconda is a quaint village in Lake County, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago with a population of 14,084 residents. Nestled around the banks of a beautiful little lake which has from earliest times been known as Bangs Lake, named in honor of Justus and Mark Bangs, Wauconda first settlers. In addition to being the home of the Wauconda Bog, Wauconda is surrounded by more than 31,000 acres of natural space managed by the Lake County Forest Preserve. In 2023, the Village of Wauconda partnered with the Wauconda Garden Club for the planting at the newly constructed Path of Honor, which commemorates military members, past, present, and future. The WGC designed a beautiful pollinator garden along the pathway to provide resources for our pollinators. The next leg of their path will be planted this summer along downtown Main Street and plans for a pollinator prairie are in the works for this fall.

Community Spotlight

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.
  • 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.
  • Engage with Homeowners Associations (HOAs), Community Associations or neighborhood organizations to identify opportunities to plant monarch gardens and revise maintenance and mowing programs.
  • 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.
  • Convert vacant lots to monarch habitat.
  • 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).

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