August 13, 2020
The City of Waukegan is excited to announce we are 2020 recipients of the ComEd Green Region grant! Openlands partners with ComEd to administer this grant program to support open space projects which focus on the planning and improvement of the local environment.
Through the ComEd Green Region grant, the City of Waukegan has received funds to support the establishment of seven new pollinator gardens across Waukegan. Four of these gardens will be located at "Welcome to Waukegan" signs, two will be along Sheridan Road, and another will be located near the lakefront. Please refer to the map below to get a better idea of where these will be located in the City. The planting of these gardens will occur in early spring of 2021, and a subset of the gardens will be accompanied by interpretative signs which will promote community environmental education regarding native pollinators, gardens, and the City's commitment to such efforts.
By planting these gardens, the City of Waukegan is supporting native pollinator communities, urban beautification, stormwater management, climate change mitigation, and more. The City is proud to pursue such efforts, especially coming off of recently adopting the Mayors' Monarch Pledge. Continue to check back in on the City's sustainability webpage and social media to gather updates on these pollinator gardens and other related efforts in Waukegan.
June 24, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WAUKEGAN, IL, June 24, 2020 — The City of Waukegan and ComEd are kick-starting a multi-year partnership to restore native pollinator habitats to help save pollinators in decline, like the monarch butterfly and rusty-patched bumblebee, in honor of National Pollinator Week.
Climate change, urbanization and agricultural practices are a threat to pollinators, which are essential components of healthy ecosystems and help produce one third of the food humans consume. ComEd will work with the City to identify restoration and pollinator sites along ComEd rights-of-way.
“The City of Waukegan is a place for people and nature to coexist happily and healthily,” said Waukegan’s Mayor Sam Cunningham. “The City is committed to protecting pollinator habitat which improves the environment for everybody. We are grateful to have partners like ComEd who help make our vision for a sustainable future a reality.”
Work on the first restoration site, along the Robert McClory Bike Path, began in June. Once completed, the City will work with ComEd to create and install signage about native pollinators and their habitats along the bike path. The anticipated next site will be in a Waukegan neighborhood, with pollinator demonstration gardens to help educate the public on the importance of protecting pollinator species.
“ComEd is proud to partner with the City of Waukegan to restore and enhance natural habitats and biodiversity,” said Mark Falcone, vice president of support services at ComEd. “Our company is committed to environmental stewardship and protecting pollinator species, improving and expanding their native habitats in the communities we serve.”
The Waukegan City Council adopted the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, committing to take five concrete actions to save the monarch butterfly. Through this commitment, the City is now part of a North American network of cities working to create monarch habitats. The City additionally passed a Proclamation stating the importance of pollinators and is seeking funding to establish pollinator gardens throughout the City. Learn more about the ComEd partnership, the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, and how you can plant your own garden at the City’s sustainability webpage.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Mayor Cunningham visiting ComEd’s first native restoration site in Waukegan. Photo taken by ComEd.
June 15, 2020
At City Council on June 15, 2020, the City of Waukegan (1) committed to the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and (2) made a Proclamation dedicating the third week of June as "Pollinator Week" in Waukegan and raising awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly. The monarch butterfly is a particularly important pollinator, holding cultural significance to millions illustrated by its yearly migration story from Mexico to the Northern USA. Furthermore, monarch populations have declined by over 80% in the last twenty years. By adopting the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, the City of Waukegan has committed to take five concrete steps which will increase monarch habitat in Waukegan and support community engagement and education on these topics. The City of Waukegan has agreed to:
- Issue a Proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitat.
- Launch a public communication effort to encourage citizens to plant monarch gardens at their homes or in their neighborhoods.
- Plant a monarch-friendly garden at City Hall or other prominent locations.
- Plant milkweed and native nectar plants in medians and public rights-of-way.
- Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into City plans.
By signing the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, the City of Waukegan is part of a network of cities across the country who are working to save the monarch by increasing habitat and educating the public. Through this partnership, the City will have access to the sharing of best practices and other technical resources on urban monarch conservation while staying up-to-date on the latest monarch news. The City of Waukegan will continue to announce its progress on these initiatives on social media and on its sustainability webpage.