DuPage Monarch Project recognizes West Chicago for Monarch Friendliness

  • West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda at the dedication of city hall's newly planted monarch garden.

    West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda at the dedication of city hall's newly planted monarch garden. Courtesy of Lonnie Morris

Submitted by Lonnie Morris
Updated 11/26/2019 9:59 PM

The City of West Chicago, which has shown an outstanding commitment to monarch conservation, will be recognized by the DuPage Monarch Project at a city council meeting on Dec. 2.

After Mayor Ruben Pineda signed the Mayors' Monarch Pledge in 2017, the city swung into action to help monarchs by providing habitat and educating the community about the monarchs declining population.


"West Chicago has taken an innovative approach to monarch conservation by linking the migrating butterfly to the community's identity through art, history and culture," said Lonnie Morris, DuPage Monarch Project Coordinator. "The city has also made the butterfly unforgettable."

The summer the monarch pledge was signed, a high profile monarch garden was planted at city hall. The following year, the garden provided a colorful display for visitors and attracted adult monarchs, with caterpillars observed feeding on milkweed plants.

West Chicago declared 2019 the "Year of the Butterfly." With the support of the arts community and Gallery 200, 36 artist-designed butterflies were installed in public gardens throughout the city. The public art project, aptly named "The Butterfly Effect" from a chaos theory principle where a small change can make a huge difference, has sent ripples of awareness throughout the community.

City staff worked with Gallery 200 and West Chicago High School to host showings of "The Guardians," a documentary about the challenges local people face in protecting the monarchs' overwintering habitat in Mexico from illegal logging and agricultural incursions.

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Connie Schmidt, Illinois Sierra Club Chair, will speak on behalf of DuPage Monarch Project at West Chicago's Dec. 2 council meeting.

DuPage Monarch Project is a partnership of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage, River Prairie Group of Sierra Club, The Conservation Foundation and Wild Ones Greater DuPage Chapter.

For information, visit dupagemonarchs.com or www.facebook.com/dupagemonarchproject/.

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