DeLand has been named a Monarch City USA, becoming the first city in the state of Florida to hold that distinction.
(DeLand, FL) – DeLand has been named a Monarch City USA, becoming the first city in the state of Florida to hold that distinction.
The goal of Monarch City USA, a nonprofit organization based in Maple Valley, Washington, is to encourage municipalities to support the monarch butterfly population. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the Monarch butterfly population was an estimated 682 million in 1997 compared to 150 million counted in 2016 – a nearly 80 percent decline over a 19 year period.
Local citizens encouraged the city to explore becoming a Monarch City and after reviewing the request the city decided to apply.
By supporting the organization, DeLand will work with local conservation and garden groups to create butterfly gardens throughout the city. Officials will also encourage residents to plant native milkweed and nectar plants, which are vital to the monarch species. The city will also post “Monarch City USA” signs at its major entry points.
“The City of DeLand has a long history of supporting conservation efforts by preserving our beautiful oak trees as evidenced by our 30 year designation as a Tree City. My hope is that decades from now the Monarch butterfly will thrive alongside our trees,” said Mayor Bob Apgar.
For more information on the program, go to www.monarchcityusa.com.