Mayors’ Monarch Pledge

Did you know that the monarch butterfly population has dropped by more than 90 percent in the last 20 years? Along with deforestation and pesticide use, one of the main causes of this decline is the drastic reduction of the asclepias plant, commonly known as Milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant that can feed the caterpillars of Canadian monarch butterflies and is the preferred plant on which they lay their eggs.

Created by the U.S. National Wildlife Federation, the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge programme has expanded to become a tri-national programme, promoted in Canada by the David Suzuki Foundation. Through the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, more than 300 communities have committed to create monarch habitat and engage their residents in educational and conservation projects. The City of Westmount is proud to announce our official participation and ongoing support of this initiative.

Here is a list of just a few of the many actions the City of Westmount has committed to taking in the next year as part of this programme:

  • Distribution of free milkweed seeds to residents during public events and throughout the year with the Westmount Library Seed Lending programme
  • Installation of an educational butterfly garden next to the Library in Westmount Park which will feature Milkweed and other pollinator friendly plants
  • City flower beds and planters will continue to have plant species that attract and feed butterflies and other pollinators such as bees
  • Westmount is committed to reducing impermeable cement surfaces every year and including naturalized planting zones and water retention basins in public spaces
  • Westmount has revised its grass mowing operations to allow targeted areas to grow longer and naturalize with indigenous plants

Residents can participate by creating butterfly and pollinator gardens in their own yards and gardens by incorporating the following beneficial flowers and plants:

  • Common milkweed Asclepias syriaca
  • Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata
  • Butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
  • New England aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
  • Pearly everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea
  • Yarrow Achillea millefolium
  • Wild columbine Aquilegia canadensis
  • Wild bergamot Monarda fistulosa
  • Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
  • Anise hyssop Agastache foeniculum
  • Lance leaf coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata
  • Woodland Sunflower Helianthus divaricatus
  • Evening primrose Oenothera biennis
  • Pearly everlasting Anaphalis margaritacea