US

Bees, butterflies to get better habitat along Interstate 35

FILE - In this April 26, 2015 file photo, a monarch butterfly feeds on a duranta flower in Houston. Six states and the Federal Highway Administration signed an agreement Thursday, May 26, 2016, to make Interstate 35 roadsides more conducive to bees and butterflies by integrating plants that provide refuge and food for the pollinators in hopes of helping them recover from declining populations. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan,File)

FILE - In this April 26, 2015 file photo, a monarch butterfly feeds on a duranta flower in Houston. Six states and the Federal Highway Administration signed an agreement Thursday, May 26, 2016, to make Interstate 35 roadsides more conducive to bees and butterflies by integrating plants that provide refuge and food for the pollinators in hopes of helping them recover from declining populations. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan,File)  (The Associated Press)

Six states and the Federal Highway Administration have agreed to make the roadsides along Interstate 35 friendlier for bees and butterflies to help the insects boost their declining populations.

The 1,500-mile stretch of road between northern Minnesota and southern Texas is a path for monarch butterflies that migrate between Mexico and Canada. Both the butterflies and bees pollinate plants that produce much of the nation's food.

Officials from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and the federal government signed an agreement Thursday to improve the habitat and develop a branding campaign informally naming the interstate the "Monarch Highway."

Honeybee and monarch butterfly populations have been dwindling in recent years.