Monarch butterflies may have found their biggest friend on Long Island yet: the Town of North Hempstead.
Town of North Hempstead officials announced on Wednesday that they are taking the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, committing to 24 actions to help save the declining monarch population.
These butterflies totaled 1 billion across the United States in 1996, according to the National Wildlife Federation, but their numbers have plummeted by about 90 percent in recent years because of agricultural practices.
“I am proud to be able to participate in this campaign and take the very important pledge to take action to preserve the habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators in our Town,” said Judi Bosworth, the town supervisor of North Hempstead.
Among the actions the town says they plan to take are issuing a proclamation, launching a campaign to encourage people to plant monarch gardens, adopting new pesticide practices and boosting efforts to removal invasive species so they can grow more milkweed and nectar plants.
The town also plans to create a monarch-friendly demonstration garden at the Clark Botanical Garden in Albertson, support efforts to monitor changes in the monarch population, host a native plant sale and consider launching a “milkweed seed collection and propagation effort.”
North Hempstead is now among a small handful of municipalities on the North Shore – and Long Island – promising to take action.
Great Neck Plaza was an early pledge adopter, becoming the first village on Long Island to sign on in October last year. They promised to take at least eight actions to help butterflies.
The villages of Great Neck and Lake Success, also on the Great Neck peninsula and within North Hempstead, later signed on to take at least three actions, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
More than 300 municipalities are participating nationwide as of March 14.