Pollinator species are experiencing population declines across the United States. The monarch butterfly has drastically declined here in Ohio and in the wintering grounds of Mexico. In response to this decline, Logan SWCD is participating in a Statewide Milkweed Pod Collection in an effort to increase the number of new milkweed stems in the future. Milkweed is essential to the survival of monarch butterflies in Ohio and Ohio is a priority area for monarchs. The monarch butterflies that hatch here in the summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring.
Milkweed is the sole host plant for Monarch butterflies. This particular plant is lacking on the landscape and has had a direct effect on Monarch populations. Please join us in our effort to replenish this essential plant in Ohio by collecting milkweed pods in your backyard and/or neighborhood. Milkweed pods should be ready for collection commencing September 1. To collect the seed pods from a milkweed plant, it is best to pick them when they are dry, gray, or brown in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. It is best to collect pods into paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because they attract moisture. Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver to the collection center located at Logan Soil and Water Conservation District office. Harvesting pods from milkweed plants does not have any effect on the population of milkweed in established areas. All milkweed pods collected during this time will be processed by Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative partners and all of the seed collected will be used to establish new plantings and create additional habitat for the Monarch Butterfly throughout Ohio. When collecting milkweed pods, wear appropriate clothing for the outdoors. The next time you head for a pleasant stroll, grab a basket, a pair of pruning scissors and your garden/disposable gloves. See how many milkweed pods you can collect. The Logan Soil and Water Conservation office, located at 324 Rd 11, Bellefontaine, Ohio will be receiving milkweed pods September 1 through October 30, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Please join us in this effort to reinvigorate the Monarch population. Together, we can make a difference.