"To Save Monarch Butterflies, They Had to Silence the Lawn Mowers"

"An unlikely group of New Yorkers is winning small victories in the battle to protect butterfly habitats."

"The Long Island Expressway is not generally a place people linger, unless they’re stuck in traffic.

But during the summer, Robyn Elman can often be found walking alone near the highway’s shoulder, inspecting scraggly patches of overgrown milkweed. The plant is the only source of nutrition for monarch caterpillars before they transform into butterflies.

For the past several years, Ms. Elman, 47, has been on a quest to help save monarchs, which are under consideration for the endangered species list. She does this by preventing milkweed, which grows wild in New York City, from being razed. ...

Until this year, Ms. Elman’s quest had been a lonely one. But this summer, she met two like-minded people, forming something of an unlikely threesome that managed, in a humble victory, to protect 20-odd monarch habitats in Queens and the Bronx."

Hilary Howard reports for the New York Times October 14, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 10/16/2023