Milkweed could become the Illinois state wildflower under legislation pending in the General Assembly.
Vanessa Tyler is a Girl Scout who attends Pleasant Plains Middle School, near Springfield. She and her troop lobbied lawmakers to support the proposed state designation. She says it’ll help people think twice about killing milkweed.
“More people would want to plant it because, you know, it would be the state wildflower, so it would be kind of cool for people to plant it.” Ecologists say the removal of milkweed from lawns and developed land is causing the monarch butterfly population to shrink. Monarchs are native to Illinois, and an important pollinator for plant life. The legislation has bipartisan support, but a Republican state senator has proposed eliminating all state designations.