TRENTON — The Select Board has signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to help save the endangered monarch butterfly population. Trenton is one of three communities in Maine, along with Biddeford and Gray, to sign the pledge along with 600 mayors and heads of local and tribal government across the U.S. and Canada during the last 20 years.
The eastern monarch population has fallen by 90 percent, while less than 1 percent of the western population remains. Habitat loss is one of the major factors that contribute to this decline. The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge tries to combat this habitat loss by encouraging communities like Trenton to grow native nectar plants and milkweed in public areas such as town land, schools and roadsides as well as backyards. These pollinator gardens and meadows will provide important habitat for monarch butterflies to rest, eat, lay eggs and help pollinate plants in the community. Planting pollinator gardens will help ensure the future of the monarch and beautify the community, according to supporters.
As part of its pledge, the Parks and Recreation Department will hold a Monarch Pledge Proclamation Day on July 16 from 3-5 p.m. at the Trenton Fire Department located at 59 Oak Point Road. The event will feature a master naturalist and a representative of the Xerces Society for the Conservation of Invertebrates, who will help educate residents on how to protect and grow their own monarch habitat. Participants will have a chance to obtain milkweed plugs and learn how to plant and care for them. There will also be face painting and children’s games.