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The monarch butterfly was categorized by scientists last week as endangered. Populations of the iconic orange-and-black butterfly have plummeted over recent decades because of habitat loss, pesticides and herbicides, and climate change. What can home gardeners do to help the monarch? The first thing is planting milkweed. It's the only plant on which monarchs lay eggs and which monarch caterpillars eat. Choose the right milkweed for your region. The National Wildlife Federation has an online database to help select plants native to your region. Adult monarchs need other kinds of plants too, specifically ones with nectar-bearing flowers. Avoid pesticides and herbicides, even ones labeled natural or organic. And consider setting up a butterfly puddling station with water and a warm rock.

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FILE - A Monarch butterfly pauses in a field of Goldenrod on Sept. 11, 2020, at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa. The International Union of Conservation of Nature officially categorized the monarch as "endangered" and added it to its Red List of Threatened Species on July 21. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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This image provided by Garden for Wildlife shows a monarch butterfly caterpillar munching on a milkweed leaf. The International Union of Conservation of Nature officially categorized the monarch as "endangered" and added it to its Red List of Threatened Species on July 21. (Julie Richards/Garden for Wildlife via AP)

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FILE - A Monarch butterfly eats nectar from a swamp milkweed on the shore of Rock Lake on July 22, 2012, in Pequot Lakes, Minn. The International Union of Conservation of Nature officially categorized the monarch as "endangered" and added it to its Red List of Threatened Species on July 21. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

Garden columnist Thomas Christopher's naturally based gardening understanding has been plant-centric and frankly reactionary, he writes. "To the extent it’s possible, I’ve tried to restore whatever vegetation once flourished on the local landscape, with the idea that this would invite the return of native wildlife. After talking to Kat Tancock and Domini Clark, however, I’m taking a more imaginative view."

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A San Francisco Bay Area school district built subsidized housing for teachers and staff who could not afford market rent. More districts in California and the U.S. are exploring the idea as rent and home prices grow out of reach. In West Virginia, the American Federation of Teachers helped build a housing complex with apartments for teachers and retail shops. But such projects face obstacles, including pushback from residents. The Jefferson Union High School District in California's San Mateo County wants to develop more apartments, but a community garden stands in the way. Skeptics question whether schools should even get into housing development.

“Waste not, want not!” This proverbial phrase has many connotations, including with respect to vegetable gardening. As a case in point, I have been picking peas since late June and have just about picked the last of this spring planted crop. Now what? Well, for one, there is now plenty of open space in the garden which I’d not like to see going to waste. Therefore, I want to use that space.