Blogs & Videos: Environment & Conservation

Close-up of an orange and black butterfly perched on a group of small, unopened flowers

How Milkweeds Can Save Monarch Butterflies And Beautify Your Garden

Did you know milkweeds aren’t really weeds at all? In fact, they’re native plants with large pink, orange, or white flowers. In addition to their charm, plants in the genus Asclepias are the host plants for the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), meaning they are the only food for the monarch larvae, or caterpillars. Without milkweeds, the monarch butterfly has no chance for survival.

Three different kinds of flowers: small, bright orange flowers; bright pink flowers with a yellow butterfly perched on top; and a light pink flower with a bumblebee on it

Roll Up Your Sleeves: How to Grow Native Plants in Your Garden

If you’re gearing up to add native plants to your yard this spring, then congratulations! You’ll make your space more beautiful, with the added bonus of being hospitable to the butterflies and other pollinators (like bees, beetles, and birds) around you.  Before you start (literally) digging in, take a moment to plan the layout of the garden (or a small strip of land along a fence—the pollinators will appreciate that as well). While doing this, take the following into consideration:

A bright orange and black butterfly on a purple flower with yellow center

Every Flower Counts: Five Reasons to Add Native Plants to Your Garden

Chicagoland used to be a vast prairie buzzing with life and supporting thousands of species of insects, birds, and other animals. As the area was developed and farmed, the landscape became fragmented, leading to the demise of many animal and plant populations. A recent—and very much publicized—effect has been the decline of the monarch butterfly, an insect that migrates annually from Mexico to Canada, spending a lot of time in the Midwest along the way.

A woman in a blue shirt standing in water, holding up a large fish

Women in Science: Lesley de Souza, Conservation Biologist

We're highlighting women in science at The Field Museum and their diverse areas of research, paths to working in science, and their advice for future scientists. Hear from Lesley de Souza, conservation biologist in the Andes-Amazon Program: How did you get to where you are?

Woman wearing a baseball cap and blue shirt in a rainforest-like setting, holding a large rock

Women in Science: Corine Vriesendorp, Conservation Ecologist

We're highlighting women in science at The Field Museum and their diverse areas of research, paths to working in science, and their advice for future scientists. Hear from Corine Vriesendorp, MacArthur Sr. Conservation Ecologist, Director, Andes-Amazon program:

How did you get where you are today?

Facts Matter at The Field Museum

In science, we're constantly striving to make new discoveries and gain a better understanding of life, nature, and the world around us.  Watch as some of our science communicators and experts take us on a tour through the Evolving Planet exhibition, showcasing just a few of many science facts you can find here. At The Field Museum, we're always doing research and learning more, and we invite you to be curious and explore the facts alongside us.

A firefighter spreading controlled fire in a prairie with tall grass

Restoring Plants With Fire in Calumet

This post was written by Iza Redlinski, a Conservation Ecologist in the Keller Science Action Center. She participated in this recent prairie burn. You may not think of winter as a time to prepare for spring flowers, but our ecologists are working hard to hopefully see some native plants emerge in a few months! 

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