The City of St. Louis and several partners are launching a project to help monarch butterflies.
It involves encouraging area residents to plant milkweeds -- a plant with large fruit pods that release fluffy seeds in the fall.
The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the partners in the “Milkweeds for Monarchs” initiative, along with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The zoo's curator of invertebrates, Edward Spevak, says milkweeds are critical to the monarch’s survival.
Every year, monarch butterflies undertake what seems like an impossible journey.
By the millions, they leave their summer breeding grounds in the United States and Canada to fly thousands of miles to a small area of alpine forest in central Mexico.
Ecologist Lincoln Brower has been studying monarchs for almost 60 years.
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.