City Works to Grow Monarch and Pollinator Habitat

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Monarch Butterly on a Milkweed bloom.

​Mayor Chuck Bennett joined the Mayor's Monarch Pledge in 2017 and since then has renewed the pledge annually. This pledge helps to increase monarch butterfly habitat, change maintenance practices and reduce pesticide use to benefit pollinators, and educate the community on how to help increase monarch butterfly habitat. Read about the Mayor's Monarch Pledge.

Here are some other highlights of our 2021 efforts to help increase pollinator habitat:

  • Reached over 1,300 community members with information on the Mayor's Monarch Pledge.

  • Created approximately 1 acre of new monarch habitat.

  • Distributed 100 native wildflower seed packets to Salem residents to plant in their yards and gardens.

  • Partnered with community organizations, such as the Glenn Gibson Watershed Council, Ellen Lane Community Gardeners, 4-H Club, and Willamette University, to plant pollinator gardens.

  • Planted and maintained pollinator gardens at City Hall, Orchard Heights Park, Ellen Lane, Brown Rd. Park, and Minto Brown Island Park.

  • Planted 0.25 acres of medians and public rights-of-way with pollinator plants and native pollinator seed mix.

  • Planted about 360 pollinator plants in or next to community gardens.

Preliminary reports about monarch butterflies at overwintering sites show promising numbers. Some sites in California are reporting numbers in the thousands. This is a welcome sight as the total monarch butterfly count last year was less than 2,000. The official Xerces Society count took place at the end of November.

You can help monarch bufferflies by reducing pesticide use and creating monarch habitats by planting native milkweed; both showy and narrow-leaved milkweed are native to Salem. The best time to plant milkweed is in October. Be careful and avoid planting tropical milkweed as it can be harmful to monarch butterflies outside of its native range.

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