City of Calabasas joins pledge to protect monarch butterflies

Lexi Bender - Staff Writer, Ella Freeman - Photographer

The Environmental Awareness Club at CHS recently convinced Mayor David Shapiro of Calabasas to sign the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.
The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge ensures the safety and protection of the monarch butterfly, a species that has decreased by 90% in the last 20 years, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
“When I originally brought the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to Mayor Shapiro’s attention, he understood the significance of signing the proclamation,” said President of Environmental Awareness Club and senior Sydney Bregman. “In order for the Pledge to be properly carried out, the city must select items from the proclamation.”
The Pledge lists action items that must be completed in order to rightfully uphold the Pledge. Mayors who have taken the Pledge must commit to implementing at least three of the 25 action items. The club is determined to establish an annual monarch festival in Calabasas in hopes of spreading awareness of the cause, according to Bregman. She hopes to educate people on the dangers posed to butterflies by diminishing resources and incautious human activity. Actions of change, such as this festival, should be completed within a year of signing the pledge, said Bregman.
“After the fire in 2016 next to CHS, milkweed, a food source for a monarch butterfly, became scarce in the city of Calabasas,” continued Bregman. “While a butterfly may go unnoticed to our ecosystem, monarch butterflies are well known for pollinating native flowers, contributing to the natural food chain and eating invasive plants.”
Mayor Rick Mullen of Malibu has also joined the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge. The city of Malibu has already completed eight of the 25 actions listed on the Pledge, according to the Santa Monica Mirror staff writer Jennifer Eden. The city issued a Proclamation raising awareness for the issue and has planted a monarch friendly garden with milkweed at Las Flores Park, continued Eden.
The CHS Environmental Awareness Club is also active in many other areas aside from their efforts to help the monarch butterflies. Much of the club’s focus this year has been directed at a complete renovation of the senior lot trail, said Bregman.
The renovation includes mitigation measures such as adding more trash cans, installing an irrigation system, certifying the land as a wildlife habitat and improving safety through the installation of working solar-powered lights, according to Bregman.