National Initiatives

Engaging millions to Garden for Wildlife where they live, work, play, learn and worship

As a national conservation education program of the National Wildlife Federation for over 45 years, Garden for Wildlife efforts have made an impact on an estimated 1.5 million acres of urban and suburban habitat, including:

Garden for Wildlife Month

Each May, in prime planting season when many wildlife are seeking places to raise their young, the National Wildlife Federation highlights ways people can make a difference by providing food, water, cover, and places to raise their young.


close-up of a carpenter bee on a flowerThe National Wildlife Federation has species specific initiatives that address the decline of many backyard migratory species such as pollinators and monarchs that bridge to our policy and larger landscape efforts and have resulted in some essential program partnerships.

In addition to our Federation efforts nationwide and resources on the plight of pollinators, the National Wildlife Federation has responded to the White House’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators and helped co-found the National Pollinator Garden Network and has helped launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to mobilize and educate millions of Americans on the need to plant sustainable pollinator garden habitat.


a monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plantThe monarch butterfly, an iconic species whose populations have declined by 90% in the last 20 years, is an indicator of the habitat decline and stress all pollinators are facing. Quality monarch habitat also helps other pollinators.

The National Wildlife Federation is helping address this through all its Garden for Wildlife efforts and additional targeted eastern, central and west coast flyway efforts in partnership with several program partners.

Targeted campaigns are engaging key players to commit to creating habitat for monarchs.

  • Mayors' Monarch PledgeFrom Austin through the Great Lakes, mayors along the central monarch flyway and other local government chief executives across the nation are taking action to help save the monarch butterfly. These cities and municipalities are committing to create habitat and educate citizens about how they can make a difference at home.
  • Butterfly Heroes Pledge: As part of National Wildlife Federation's Garden for Wildlife program, Butterfly Heroes seeks to bring awareness to the declining population and connect gardeners and kids and families alike to help the monarchs and other pollinators. Take the pledge to help to create new habitats for monarch butterflies by providing a place to rest their wings and lay their eggs.

State and Large Landscape Efforts for Monarchs

The National Wildlife Federation is also coordinating outreach and education with the following partners to encourage milkweed planting and maintenance to help monarch population’s increase to 225 million in the central flyway. Partners include: United States Fish and Wildlife Service, The National Fish and Wildlife Fund, Monarch Joint Venture, Monarch Watch, along with the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Research and others including Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More