The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status


Pledge Date

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Program Year


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Action Item Report

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Town of Zionsville

Zionsville, IN

John Stehr


Pledge Summary

Zionsville is a town of about 30,000 residents located in Central Indiana. Often called a town within a park, Zionsville has preserved over 700 acres of parks, most left in its natural habitats. Along with preserving and restoring our native wetlands, forest and prairie habitats, Mayor Stehr has committed to saving the monarch butterfly and other native pollinators by signing the Mayor's Monarch Pledge. The Zionsville community looks forward to continuing to build native habitat throughout Zionsville.

Community Spotlight


Elm Street Green Meadow

Zionsville has over 700 acres of parkland, most in a natural state with floodplain, forests and restored pollinator meadows such as at Elm Street Green.


New Habitat Restoration at Zionsville Golf Course

In 2023, 2 acres of Zionsville Golf Course rough were restored as a pollinator meadow.


Carpenter Nature Preserve

In 2023 the Zionsville Parks and Recreation Department purchased the 215-acre former Wolf Run Golf Course. The future Carpenter Nature Preserve will feature Eagle Creek floodplain, open forest and prairie habitats.

Action Items Committed for 2024

Communications and Convening

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
  • 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.
  • 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.