Community Wildlife Projects

As many of you know, the Town of Townsend has the distinct honor of being the 1st community in the State of Delaware and the 42nd community in the Nation to be certified as a Community Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The certification did not come easily – it was received in April, 2010 after three (3) years of dedication by Town Council, residents and various outside agencies – all of whom were intently focused on protecting our environment. Numerous events took place over the course of these 3 years, including tree plantings and educational seminars, and various partnerships were formed along the way with residents, schools and organizations. A library maintained at Town Hall contains information and press releases about these activities and events. 

Having endured a global public health crises for the past two (2) years, 2020-2022, in which the Town of Townsend and the State of Delaware complied with federal regulations to operate in a quarantine environment until March 11, 2022 when the face mask mandate was lifted, the efforts of past Council members have been ravaged by time and neglect.  It is now the responsibility of the current Council to restore functionality of the existing Community Wildlife Habitats.

The Town recently received its 11-year re-certification as a Community Wildlife Habitat by continuing its active role in promoting environmentally friendly practices that involve the community and protect wildlife for our children’s future, as evidenced by the following events held over the past several years, beginning with the most recent:

Earth Day 2022

(April 22, 2022) was celebrated with a municipal park clean-up that included the planting of flowers and distribution of native milkweed seeds to residents.

Earth Day 2022

Flowers, gardening tools, refreshments, milkweed seeds, and gardening pamphlets were available for those who assisted with the park clean-up on Earth Day.

2022 Earth Day

National Wildlife Gardening instructions, photos of suggested plantings for butterfly gardens and free milkweed seeds were available at the Town Park.



Earth Day 2022

Volunteers installed flowers around the Veterans’ Monument at the Municipal Park while others picked up trash.

Earth Day 2022

Councilwoman Clarke assisted with the planting of flowers around the Veterans’ monument.



Mayor Patrick Miller signed the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge on March 23, 2002, reaffirming the Town’s commitment to protect the Monarch Butterfly and encouraging other city officials across our great nation to take a stand with him so that the monarch butterfly will once again flourish across the continent. 2022 Mayors Monarch Pledge 


In July 2021, a phenomenal team of Lifehouse Church volunteers supported the restoration of the Mayors Monarch Garden in the rear of the Town Hall building at 141 Main Street.  Volunteers consisted of a diverse group of adults and children, all working meticulously to pull weeds, operate garden tools, and clean up debris. 

Mayor Tom McDonald committed to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators with his signing of the 2021 Mayors’ Monarch Pledge in March of 2021.


A beautiful butterfly garden is tucked away in the back corner of the Town Hall property, not very visible from the parking lot, so the Town partnered with Lowe’s Home Center and Cub Scout Pack 351 in 2019 to build a walking path to the garden from the parking lot to draw more attention to the “demonstration” garden.

New Path to Butterfly Garden at Town Hall

Walkway to Butterfly Garden installed by Cub Scouts with the help of volunteers and Lowe’s.


Brownie Troop 914 brightened up the appearance of the butterfly garden they had planted in 2017 by painting and placing stepping stones in the summer of 2018.  

Butterfly Garden Enhancements

Brownie Troop added decorative stepping stones to butterfly garden.


The Town continued its commitment to the protection of pollinators by installing a demonstration butterfly garden at Town Hall with the help of Brownie Troop 914 in May, 2017.

Butterfly Garden Installation

Volunteers and Brownie Troop installing new butterfly garden at Town Hall

Demonstration Butterfly Garden

Labels identifying butterfly garden plantings

2016 EVENTS – Tree Give-away, Mayor’s Monarch Pledge & Planting of Butterfly Garden @ Townsend Elementary School

The Town re-affirmed its commitment to preserving the environment on Earth Day 2016 by holding a tree give-away (where native flowering white dogwood, eastern redbud and eastern red cedar trees donated from the NWF were presented to residents), by issuing a proclamation to declare Earth Day 2016 as Mayor’s Monarch Pledge Day in the Town of Townsend and by announcing plans to partner with the Townsend Elementary School and the Delaware Nature Society to plant a monarch butterfly garden at the school.  The garden was subsequently planted by very enthusiastic second grade students in May 2016.


2016 Butterfly Garden

Townsend Elementary School (TES) students – Butterfly Heroes!

2016 Butterfly Garden

Delaware Nature Society instructed students on proper planting procedures.

2016 Butterfly Garden

Planting was done by students, teachers, and volunteers.

2016 Butterfly Garden

A work in progress!

2016 Butterfly Garden

The students were so excited to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Hatton.

2016 Butterfly Garden

The finished product!

2016 Butterfly Garden

The new butterfly garden was certified as a Schoolyard Habitat!


We encourage Town residents to get involved and visit a garden location to see nature at its best, pick up a wildlife magazine at Town Hall, or visit the mini libraries in Town.  Complimentary NWF publications on how to construct backyard ponds, nesting boxes and bird feeders, as well as information relating to environmentally friendly practices for lawn reduction, attracting butterflies and wildlife are also available at Town Hall upon request. 

NWF Library in Lobby of Town Hall.

Numerous NWF Publications are available at Town Hall.

If you would like to share photos of projects you have created to protect the environment and/or preserve wildlife or would like to be added to the Town’s directory for distribution of NWF educational resources, please contact National Wildlife & Historic Preservation Committee Members Eschalla Clarke or Ed Dugan  .

Go to ‎ to learn more about the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).