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Bill Aims To Have Milkweed Recognized As Illinois State Wildflower

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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.

Tom reports on statehouse issues for NPR Illinois. He's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. He graduated from Macalester College. Tom is from New York City where he also did stand-up and improv and wrote for the Awl and WNYC public radio.