The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Complete

Pledge Date

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Program Year

2023

Achievement

Leadership Circle

2023

Links and Uploads

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Action Item Report

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City of Des Moines

Des Moines, IA

T.M. Franklin Cownie

Mayor

Pledge Summary

The City of Des Moines Iowa is in the heart of the Midwest and in the heart of the fall Monarch Migration flight way. The City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation along with the Blank Park Zoo, Science Center of Iowa, and Des Moines Botanical Center all work together to promote and provide support for Monarch Conservation in our city. Mayor Cownie has committed to conservation and sustainable practices that enhance our city as well as provide habitat for monarch butterflies, pollinators, and wildlife in our city.

Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for 2023

Communications and Convening

  • 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 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 community garden groups and urge them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Initiate or support community science (or citizen science) efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
  • 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 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).
  • Plant milkweed and pollinator-friendly native nectar plants along roadsides, medians, or public rights-of-way.
  • Plant or maintain a monarch and pollinator-friendly demonstration garden at City Hall or another prominent or culturally significant community location.
  • Host or support a native seed or plant sale, giveaway or swap.

Systems Change

  • Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
  • Change weed or mowing ordinances to allow for native prairie and plant habitats.