Devra Kitterman dug up the lawn of her home on Hawthorne Road in Baltimore and replaced the turf grass with a lush jungle of ferns, dogwoods and a pond floating with lilies and frogs. She also planted several milkweed plants to feed monarch butterflies.
“Butterflies need milkweed – especially Monarchs – to lay their eggs,” said Kitterman, a beekeeper and Pollinator Program Coordinator at the Maryland Agricultural Resources Council. “And monarchs are very, very dependent on milkweed. All of the types are really important. And I encourage people to plant as many as you can."
Like many other gardeners across the country, Kitterman been trying to fight back against a sharp decline in butterflies, bees and other insects. Scientists say this decline has been caused in part by widespread spraying of agricultural pesticides and herbicides, including Round Up (the trade name for glyphosate), which kills the milkweed that many farmers regard as a nuisance.