Illinois Tollways to Become Butterfly Highways

CHICAGO (January 29, 2015) – Today, the Illinois Tollway Authority agreed to work with the Natural Resources Defense Council to create a monarch butterfly restoration program that would plant milkweed along the agency’s 286 miles of roadways. The plant is essential for the species’ survival as their numbers have crashed in recent years. 

Following is reaction from Rebecca Riley, attorney in NRDC’s land and wildlife program, who addressed the Tollway Authority board today:

“The monarch butterfly is the Illinois state insect—we should be doing everything we can to save it. By planting milkweed on sections of I-90, I-88 and I-294, the Tollway is doing its part.

“As milkweed has disappeared, so have the butterflies. Finding places to replant the monarch’s essential food source is key to keeping them around.”

More information on the plight of America’s pollinators at


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