It is critical for Westerville to not only provide a healthy environment for our residents, but also for the wildlife that we share space with. To do this, community collaboration is key; together we can meet the habitat needs of our wildlife in both the public and private areas of City.
Westerville is actively promoting a better wildlife habitat through two current initiatives, the Mayor's Monarch Pledge and Wildlife Habitat Certification.
Mayor's Monarch Pledge
The Monarch population has declined 90% in the last 20 years. These pollinators are vital to the wellbeing of our community and our world. We're taking action to better meet the needs of the Monarch Butterfly through education and activism.
In March 2018, Mayor Craig Treneff, on behalf of the City of Westerville, read a proclamation to take the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. This pledge, initiated by the National Wildlife Federation, aims to raise awareness and garner support for the fading Monarch Butterfly population across the country.
We are committed to creating a habitat for the Monarch Butterfly and pollinators to thrive.
As part of the 2019 National Pollinator Month, the City and the Westerville Garden Club worked together to design and plant two butterfly habitat demonstration gardens along the recreational trail at the corner of Polaris Parkway and Africa Road. All of the new plants are tagged with their common and scientific names. Come visit the gardens to see the butterflies in action and find pollinator-friendly plants to add to your landscape.
Learn more about this National Wildlife Federation pledge here.
Community Wildlife Habitat
The City of Westerville is currently working toward a certification to become a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat. Many of objectives of this certification align with the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and the Parks and Recreation Department's vision to be "a city within a park."
A Community Wildlife Habitat is a community that provides habitat for wildlife throughout the area, in backyards, schools and in public areas such as parks, community gardens and businesses. This program provides local leaders with a focused framework for restoring the wildlife ecosystem and engaging citizens as they work to attain the esteemed certification.
Right now, there are only two certified communities in the state of Ohio and Westerville could be next.
We Need Your Help
To become certified, communities must complete tasks and earn points in five categories related to creating and preserving wildlife habitats. Four of the five categories depend mainly on actions from the City. However, the 5th category relies on residents certifying their individual yards as wildlife habitats.
With our population, the City of Westerville must earn 250 wildlife habitat points. We are 40% of the way there, but need your help to reach our goal requirement.
Residents and/or organizations can easily certify their space with National Wildlife Federation by completing a short online survey. Visit www.nwf.org/CertifiedWildlifeHabitat to submit your garden.
In order for a space to qualify as a wildlife habitat it must provide:
Examples include mature tree; nesting box; wetland; host plants for caterpillars; dead trees; dense shrubs; pond; burrow.