The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Complete

Pledge Date

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Program Year

2023

Achievement

Signatories

2023

Links and Uploads

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Action Item Report

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Town of Normal

Normal, IL

Chris Koos

Mayor

Pledge Summary

The Town of Normal, home of Illinois State University, is located in Central Illinois. The northern two-thirds of the state was originally covered in prairie land. And while Illinois is known as "The Prairie State", most of the state's prairies are gone as the majority were converted to agricultural fields. The monarch butterfly, the state insect, had lived on these prairies. Milkweed and other flowering plants are needed to help restore the lost prairie habitat. The Town of Normal is committed to preserving and restoring native prairie plantings that serves both as an aesthetic and recreational amenity while providing wildlife habitat, especially for the monarch butterfly.

Community Spotlight

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Perennial plants outgrow annuals in Normal

Just a few years ago, many of the landscape beds in Normal's parks and municipal properties included a multitude of annual flowers. Town horticulturalists have converted all of these beds to primarily consist of nectar-producing perennials.

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Fransen Nature Area Explodes

Wildflowers have been abundant in the Fransen Nature Area, providing high levels of nectar for our local pollinators. The park is a favorite for photography enthusiasts.

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Underwood Park Monarch Butterfly Fun Fact Signs

Monarch butterfly fun-fact signs at the Underwood Park prairie emphasizes our commitment to preserving and restoring native prairie plants that provide a much-needed habitat for the monarch butterfly.

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Monarchs in Maxwell

The redesigned disc golf course in Maxwell Park continues to provide native habitat for the monarch butterfly. Milkweed, goldenrod, and other nectar producing wildflowers are actively growing in the tallgrass areas on the course.

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From Roses to Wildflowers at the Normandy Garden

The old rose garden on the former campus of the Illinois Soldier's and Sailor's Childrens School has been transformed into a picturesque perennial garden.

Action Items Committed for 2023

Communications and Convening

  • 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

  • Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar-producing plants in gardens in the community.
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants along roadsides, medians, or public rights-of-way.

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.