The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Active

Pledge Date

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Program Year

2024

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Action Item Report

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Town of Townsend

Townsend, DE

Scott Lobdell

Mayor

Pledge Summary

The Town of Townsend is located in central Delaware with a population of roughly 2,735. The Town has the distinction of having been designated the first Community Wildlife Habitat in the State of Delaware by the National Wildlife Federation on April 24, 2010. Since then it has recertified every year, attaining its 13-year certification in 2023. The Town continues to partner with local organizations each year within the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend (MOT) area to enhance our Mayor's Monarch Garden and create a new garden within the heart of the Town's Municipal Park. Mayor Lobdell has committed to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators with his signing of the 2024 Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and looks forward to engaging residents in building more pollinator habitats through the Town.

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Community Spotlight

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Mayor’s Monarch Garden

Located just a few feet south of the Town Hall, the Townsend Mayor’s Monarch Garden hosts an assortment of colorful flowers and native pants to attract pollinators. The garden is maintained by the National Wildlife Committee and community volunteers.

Learn More
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Townsend Municipal Park Garden

Located within the Townsend Municipal Park off of the walk trail is a quint little area where park goers may relax and enjoy the outdoors while observing the pollinators at work. This garden was established on May 12, 2023.

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

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.
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants along roadsides, medians, or public rights-of-way.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar-producing plants in gardens in the community.
  • Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals that are harmful to monarchs and pollinators and urban wildlife.
  • Launch, expand, or continue one or more ordinances to reduce light pollution to benefit urban wildlife.