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Lansing Mayor makes pledge to preserve Monarchs – a Village Board Summary

LANSING, Ill. (April 19, 2024) – The Lansing Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, April 16 to discuss and vote on village business, including a pledge made by Mayor Patty Eidam regarding Monarch butterflies.

The mayor on Monarchs

Mayor Eidam read a proclamation Tuesday acknowledging the importance of Monarch butterflies, and committed the Village of Lansing to taking steps to protect them.

Eidam’s proclamation acknowledged that monarch populations have declined in the United States, and that “human health ultimately depends on well-functioning ecosystems.”

Eidam also said she signed the National Wildlife Federation Mayor’s Monarch Pledge.

Lansing Garden Club president Diane Lund has repeatedly made public comments before the Village Board asking that mowing schedules be changed so that Lansing’s ditches and green spaces would serve as better habitats for migrating Monarchs.

Eidam invited Lund to speak Tuesday. Lund said, “Thank you for taking a stand to protect a unique-to-Lansing resource. We are so happy.”

monarch
Diane Lund stands and applauds in praise of the Village’s commitment to contribute to Monarch preservation. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Lund specifically praised the new mowing schedule, which is one of five “action items” the Village has committed to. The full list is included below, as provided by the Village of Lansing:

  1. Our 2024 Mayor’s Monarch Pledge Proclamation will be read at the April 16th Village Board Meeting.
  2. We are launching an effort on how our residents can obtain and plant free milkweed seeds from MWRD.
  3. We are partnering with the Lansing Garden Club, so they can plant milkweed on village-owned property at the center area of Fox Pointe north parking lot.
  4. Lansing will assist and support the Lansing Garden Club with a monarch and pollinator garden at the center of Fox Pointe north parking lot and create and display educational signage for that garden.
  5. For listed specific areas the Village of Lansing will change the existing mowing schedule and policy to reflect the recommended mowing schedule and policy of the National Wildlife Federation, the University of Illinois Extension, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Cook County Forest Preserve and the Illinois Farm Bureau, which all concur:
    • Use a cutting height of 10 to 12 inches.
    • Mow only before May 1st and after October 1st.
    • A mid-summer mowing can take place June 30th to July 10th only.
    • The specific areas that the Village will adhere to for 2024 are:
      • The 1.2 miles on the west side of Burnham Avenue from Erfert Park entrance south to Glenwood-Lansing Road – We will clear out the weed trees and other brush on the west side of the ditch before May 1, 2024. Anything that is trimmed down will be no shorter than 10 inches and then, moving forward, the required schedule and 10-inch height will be adhered to. The east side of that same stretch along Burnham Avenue will be left alone at least until July 1st and possibly until after October 1st and then cut to no less than 10 inches. (We will be cutting, on a regular basis, the very small area between the road and the guardrail along that stretch of Burnham for a clean look.)
      • The ditch along the south side of Glenwood-Lansing Road from Burnham east to Wentworth, at the north end of Lansing Municipal Airport, is the responsibility of Cook County. We will reach out to them with information on our commitment and encourage them to adhere to the recommended mowing schedule.
      • The Village of Lansing will also maintain the cutting of North Creek within the confines of the Lansing Municipal Airport to the 10-inch height and comply with the recommended mowing schedule.
      • IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) is responsible for the mowing of the .5 miles on the east side of Burnham Avenue from Glenwood-Lansing Road south to the Airport entrance (Bob Malkas Drive). We are in communication with them about our commitment, and I am confident that they will comply with the suggested mowing schedule and the 10″ minimum cutting height.

According to a Village press release, mayors who take the Monarch pledge commit to at least three of 30 action items to help save the species. These actions include creating a monarch-friendly garden at city hall, converting abandoned lots to monarch habitat, changing mowing schedules to allow milkweed to grow unimpeded, and 27 other possible actions.

Learn more about Monarch preservation in Illinois at illinoismonarchproject.org.

Other Village Board notables

  • John Wilson, of Trails for Illinois, donated $3,400 to the Village for the Lansing Greenway.
  • Sharon Novak and Gina Aguilar were both reappointed to the Board of Trustees of the Police Pension Fund.
  • Trustees voted to amend a lease agreement with Verizon for use of two Lansing water towers.
  • Village Administrator Dan Podgorski said Lansing Clean Up Day had over 250 sign-ups. Clean Up Day is April 20.
  • A representative from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning updated the board on feedback received from Lansing residents about upcoming capital projects. He said the 1,633 responses was “quadruple” the amount he expected to receive. As soon as next month, residents will be invited to vote on which Village-vetted proposal should be incorporated in the 2025 Village of Lansing budget.
  • Three public comments were made: Bob Malkas on the Lansing Municipal Airport, Carla of Carla’s Supper Club on the problems she has with the current liquor license process, and Jim Rehak on a downed tree in an abandoned yard next to his house.

Learn more

Village Board meetings typically occur at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the Village Courtroom, located at 2710 170th Street. Contact information for Village officials is available at VillageofLansing.org.

First-time participants in Village Board meetings may find The Lansing Journal’s video guide helpful:

Read the recap from last meeting:

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.

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