The National Wildlife Federation

Community Profile

Pledge Status

Did Not Report

Pledge Date

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Program Year


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Action Item Report

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City of Highland Park


Nancy R. Rotering


Pledge Summary

Highland Park is a small city on the shores of Lake Michigan 25 miles north of Chicago. With towering lake bluffs, secluded ravines, and wooded lots, the city has always had a special relationship with nature and the character of the city is defined by large old oaks and hickories. Mayor Rotering has committed to increasing pollinator habitat by removing invasive species such as buckthorn from public land and replacing it with native perennials, shrubs, and trees.

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Community Spotlight

Action Items Committed for 2022

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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove milkweed from the list of noxious plants in city weed / landscaping ordinances (if applicable).
  • Launch, expand, or continue one or more ordinances to reduce light pollution to benefit urban wildlife.