Pennsylvania’s Conservation Heroes: 14 Municipalities Unite to Save the Monarch Butterfly

Monarch on goldenrod (Getty)

By Ashley Adams

August 3, 2023

Municipalities across the commonwealth have pledged to create habitats and educate their communities to help save the monarch butterfly, which contributes to the health of the planet as a pollinator.

The monarch butterfly population has declined by over 90% in recent years. Fourteen municipalities in Pennsylvania have pledged to do something about it.

Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, municipalities across the nation are committing to creating habitats for the monarch butterfly, and to educate residents about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.

The following commonwealth municipalities have made that pledge and are putting actions into progress to honor their commitment:

  • Franklin Park, Mayor Dennis O’Keefe
  • Brackenridge, Mayor Lindsay Fraser
  • Bridgeville, Mayor Betty Copeland 
  • Carnegie, Mayor Stacie Riley
  • Elkins Park, Township Manager Alyson Elliott
  • Evans City, Council President Cheri Deenerkohan
  • Exton, Board of Supervisors Chairperson Mayme Baumann
  • Malvern, Mayor Zeyn Uzman
  • McKees Rocks, Mayor David Flick
  • Pipersville, Board of Supervisors Chairperson James Helms
  • Pottstown, Mayor Stephanie Henrik
  • Sewickley, Mayor George Shannon
  • York, Borough Manager Shawn Mauck

Some of the actions taken by local municipalities include planting native trees, shrubs, and pollinator plants for the monarchs, implementing environmental sustainability practices, and incorporating nature education in the community, among other things.

Found across the US, monarch butterflies numbered around 1 billion in 1996. Today, their numbers have declined significantly as a result of numerous threats, particularly the loss of habitats due to cropland conversion, urban development, and agricultural practices. 

Monarch butterflies contribute to the health of the planet. Their bodies collect pollen and carry it to other plants. This helps fruits, vegetables, and flowers to produce new seeds. The majority of plants need pollinators like butterflies to reproduce.

“Cities, towns, and counties play a pivotal role in advancing monarch butterfly conservation in urban and suburban areas,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior director of community wildlife at the National Wildlife Federation. “By working together, we can ensure that every American child has a chance to experience majestic monarchs in their communities.”

Municipalities that take the pledge commit to at least three of 30 action items to help save the monarch butterfly.

Author

  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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