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Massachusetts Highways May Become Haven For Monarch Butterflies

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts highways may soon become havens for monarch butterflies and other declining insect populations.

State wildlife and transportation officials say they plan to use a $21,500 federal grant to help plant milkweed and other native plants for pollinating insects alongside some highways and on median strips.

Scientists say the monarch butterfly in particular has seen its numbers dwindle in recent years in the U.S. Northeast, in part due to the loss of meadow habitat and milkweed.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation says it will identify potential locations for seeding while MassWildlife chooses the right native seed mix for planting.

The newly formed meadows will be marked by signs. MassDOT plans to reduce mowing to just once every two to three years to give the plants time to flourish.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


One Comment

  1. JayP says:

    It’s about time. My favorite butterfly. They need milkweed to lay their eggs on, and there just isn’t enough around anymore. Would be wonderful to see these beautiful butterflies make a comeback.

    1. LinC says:

      Agree with JayP. We’ll pay dearly for our dwindling food supplies once we start losing our pollinators such as the bees.

  2. Robert Hagopian says:

    Thank you, JayP & LinC! These incredible creatures are amazing! The Monarch is my healing symbol (I’m a cancer survivor) and have appeared at times in my life providing me with affirmation, comfort and strength! May more states and angecies take steps to protect them and their habitat!

  3. Sally C says:

    Congratulations, this is a totally wonderful plan. I’ve been planting milkweed around for a long time and even have it in my perennial garden, trying to help the Monarchs. Kudos to whomever thought of this idea, let’s hope it comes to fruition! Also please plant goldenrod and New England asters for the Monarchs during their fall migration.

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