Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award

The Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award recognizes a US business that has shown exceptional leadership and action in providing habitat and awareness for monarchs along their migratory corridors. The 2021 award will be given in January of 2022. Applications are due December 1st, 2021 to

To submit an application for this award please provide a narrative and supporting documents (photographs, site, plans, outreach plans, etc.) that highlight the unique and inspiring ways in which your business is supporting monarchs and meeting the award criteria. The application package should include a completed cover sheet, a narrative highlighting how your monarch conservation program meets the stated technical and organizational criteria, and any supplementary materials that you would like to share. Please send all attachments as a PDF.

Download the Application

Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award Winners

2019 Winner - ComEd

ComEd is proud to share their “Monarch Story” and their accomplishments towards supporting the annual monarch migration and breeding within their northern Illinois service territory. They are committed to acting with integrity and accountability as stewards of the environment. ComEd is committed to monarchs on local, corporate, and national scales through six key initiatives:

1. They restore native and remnant prairie habitat in key locations where monarchs and other pollinators can benefit.

2. They have committed to integrated habitat management and spreading at least 1,000,000 milkweed seeds on their transmission ROW.

3. They integrate conservation into their corporate policies and work closely with their sister utilities to foster pollinator initiatives.

4. They celebrate Pollinator Week and engage ComEd staff.

5. They create, fund, and support community pollinator engagement and critical non-profit groups in their community.

6. They are key participants and funders in national groups dedicated to monarch butterfly and pollinator conservation.

ComEd’s corporate policy on Biodiversity and Habitat closely aligns with monarch conservation. ComEd is committed to promoting and enhancing biodiversity through natural resource conservation by protecting species and habitats, while maintaining safe, efficient and effective operations. The policy promotes a corporate culture that empowers employees to explore innovative ways to improve biodiversity in their communities. Fundamentally, it requires land management that enhances habitat for native pollinators by minimizing pesticide use and reducing the spread of invasive species.

The monarch butterfly is the Illinois state insect, and symbolizes tenacity and creativity. They aspire to these values in their conservation work, and are proud that they can make a difference. They believe that through their six initiatives, including habitat restoration, integrated habitat management, corporative initiatives, internal and external outreach, and national participation, that they are sustainers. They are part of a wider community movement to protect the monarch through this generation and for many more.

Monarch Butterfly on Common Milkweed Plant, Orland Park Prairie, Cook County, IL

2018 Winner - Marathon

For years, Marathon has focused on enhancing native wildlife habitat. In the process, Marathon realized the importance of pollinators to the environment, economy, children’s education, and employee morale. Palestine Neal Pit and Pollinator Prairie are two of the main sites where Marathon is conducting monarch enhancing work in Illinois. This Management Plan focuses on the efforts within these two sites along with Marathon’s other achievements in native pollinator advocacy.

Palestine Neal Pit is the oldest of the two sites. In 2006, by successfully developing, implementing, and maintaining wildlife habitat, Palestine Neal Pit became the 12th Marathon facility to become Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) certified. Marathon has continually improved these sites through effective habitat management to benefit native species. One of the main goals of these projects is to provide habitat for all pollinator species (such as bees, butterflies, birds, and bats) with special attention given to the feeding and habitat requirements of the monarch butterfly. Marathon employees, understanding the value of community involvement, have worked diligently to educate the local community (both children and adults) on the importance of monarch butterflies and how to create and enhance pollinator-friendly habitats.

Marathon is committed to environmental protection and emphasizes practical resource conservation and the minimization of wastes, emissions, and releases through their operations. Marathon is dedicated to being a good neighbor in their community and will conduct their operations safely and responsibly as well as consult proactively with stakeholders on issues of mutual interest. Environmental performance indicators are a key part of Marathon’s corporate and operational performance commitments with targets designed to drive continual improvement.

members of Marathon receiving the Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award