The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Complete

Pledge Date

Friday, February 17, 2023

Program Year

2023

Achievement

Monarch Champions

2023

Links and Uploads

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Action Item Report

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City of Rochester

Rochester, MI

Stuart Bikson

Mayor

Pledge Summary

The City of Rochester is working to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for our community. We have committed to the Mayor's Monarch Pledge, a program that seeks to increase pollinator-friendly habitats in cities nationwide. We are taking steps to increase the number of pollinator-friendly plants and trees in our city parks, as well as providing educational opportunities for our citizens to learn about the importance of protecting pollinators. We are also working with our local schools to encourage the planting of pollinator-friendly plants in their gardens. Additionally, we are actively working to reduce the use of harmful pesticides, which are known to be detrimental to the Monarch Butterfly population. Finally, we are actively partnering with local organizations and businesses to restore and protect important Monarch Butterfly habitats in our city.

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Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for 2023

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.
  • Create a community art project to enhance and promote monarch and pollinator conservation as well as cultural awareness and recognition.
  • Create a community-driven educational conservation strategy, initiative, or practice that focuses on and benefits local, underserved residents.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Convert vacant lots to monarch habitat.
  • Plant or maintain a monarch and pollinator-friendly demonstration garden at City Hall or another prominent or culturally significant community location.
  • Facilitate or support a milkweed seed collection and propagation effort.
  • Host or support a native seed or plant sale, giveaway or swap.

Systems Change

  • Reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals that are harmful to monarchs and pollinators and urban wildlife.
  • Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
  • 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.
  • Increase the percentage of native plants, shrubs and trees that must be used in city landscaping ordinances and encourage use of milkweed, where appropriate.
  • Remove milkweed from the list of noxious plants in city weed / landscaping ordinances (if applicable).