CHARLESTON — Monarch City USA, a non-profit group that advocates for cities to actively recover their monarch butterfly populations, has added Charleston as a new member.
The group announced Charleston's membership on its Facebook page and cited the city's efforts to revitalize the butterfly populations in the area. Charleston is the first member in the state.
Charleston has planned approximately 20 acres of new butterfly and pollinator habitat within the city by the end of 2020 by revising mowing practices and setting aside public areas for butterfly habitats, according to the proclamation.
In the city, butterfly hotspots have been established at Lake Charleston Pavilion, Carnegie Public Library, Lake Charleston Red Barn, Woodyard Conservation Area and EIU Secret Garden.
Fox Ridge State Park has created two butterfly hotspots, as well.
This announcement follows another recent announcement from the Urban Butterfly Initiative, a locally-based community service organization, which designated Charleston as the butterfly capital of Illinois.
Monarch City USA was created in 2015 in Maple Valley, Wash., with a focus toward encouraging American cities to directly help the monarch butterfly population recover through planting milkweed and nectar plants within their borders. Participants in the group must register with the non-profit, pay a $50 lifetime fee and purchase one or more signs.