The City of Champaign and other partners in the community such as the Champaign Park District, Prairie Rivers Network and many others have been working to preserve Monarch Butterfly habitat throughout the community. The City of Champaign joined the Mayor's Monarch Challenge Leadership Circle to save the Monarch Butterfly. In the last 20 years, the Monarch population has declined by over 94%, shrinking from over 1 billion to just 60 million butterflies. Monarchs rely on Milkweed plants, the only plant that they can use to cocoon. The Midwest is an essential breeding ground from the annual Monarch migration from Canada to Mexico, and habitat loss has contributed to their decline.
The Champaign Park District will be hosting a number of Monarch Themed events throughout the summer focused on Monarch Butterfly education and habitat preservation.