Illinois Tollway Distributes Butterfly-Friendly Seeds On Earth Day

Nancy Harty
April 22, 2019 - 7:28 am

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- You may get more than just change at some Illinois tollbooths on this Earth Day.

The Tollway is giving out 10,000 seed packets of plants that will attract pollinators. 

Senior Environmental Planner Kelsey Musich said the push aims to keep the monarch butterfly off the list of endangered species.

The packets contain seeds for two types of native perennials: orange milkweed and pale purple coneflower.

They're drought resistant and don't require much maintenance, like many of the flowers and grasses they plant along the tollway.

You can get seeds from tollway collectors, tow truck drivers and customer service employees or reaching by out to the Toll Authority on social media.

Musich said the agency plans in June to measure the results of milkweed plantings along some toll roads four years ago.

If you're worried the butterflies will become windshield splatter, she said a study finds only seven percent are killed by cars.