I read with great interest a recent opinion piece on monarch butterflies.
I was especially interested in the part about planting milkweed to feed and encourage monarch butterflies. I just did a quick calculation and found that with just 15,969 miles of state roads in Illinois, it would be possible to create over 11,600 acres of milkweed for butterflies by simply planting a three-foot strip on each side of the highways with milkweed. (That is: 15,969 miles, 5,280 feet per mile, and six feet plus 43,560 square feet per acre.)
This does not include any county roads, which would expand the acreage even more. This would also be a savings in costs to mow and trim roadsides where the milkweed grows.
Something to think about and an effective addition to backyard plots of milkweed.
Source: The Daily Chronicle