Statewide: While vital to butterflies, there's still a battle in some cities over milkweed
For years, the planting of milkweed has been seen as a way to support the declining population of the Monarch Butterfly, as the caterpillars only eat that plant. Development has meant a loss of milkweed in the U.S. However, some towns have outright bans.
In 2017, Illinois passed two state laws. One forced cities and counties to drop milkweed bans. The other declared milkweed the state wildflower. Illinois cities such as Ottawa still have bans on their books, but the state law trumps it.
Still, there are locations in the Midwest where having the plant on your property can get you fined, due to its spreading nature and toxicity when eaten by livestock. Celia llopis-Jepsen reports on the controversy over milkweed.