(CBS) — In the Woody Wickham Butterfly Garden in the back of the Peggy Notebaert Nature museum, you can see them flying about. But over the past 20 years, the monarch butterfly population has declined by 90 percent.
“The main reason is the destruction of their habitat. Monarch butterflies literally cannot survive without milkweed,” says Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake. “It’s the only plant they lay their eggs on and the caterpillars grow.”
House Bill 6182 was signed into law on Friday. The legislation would create a specialty license plate. Fees would go toward a highway program to plant milkweed along the median strips of Illinois highways.
“Once a prolific native plant, the use of pesticides and herbicides nearly eradicated milkweed from the state of Illinois, so we are proposing we replant this along the state’s roadways, Bush says.