Once again there has been a drastic decline in the Monarch butterfly population in Northwest Ohio. Serving as vital contributors to the planet as pollinators, Monarchs need Milkweed pods to lay their eggs. The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) and Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) are seeking public involvement to collect these pods. Everyone is encouraged to collect fully-mature, dry milkweed pods from established plants on their property.
The OPHI was formed in 2014 in response to the petition to list Monarch butterflies as federally endangered species. Each year the OPHI asks for the public’s help to utilize resources in their own backyard as a way to keep Monarchs well populated.
The Milkweed pods should only be collected when they are dry and brown-grey in color. If they are green and the center seam doesn’t want to pop with light pressure, they’re not ready for harvesting. It’s also important not to use plastic bags to transport the pods as they can draw in moisture and allow mold to develop. Pods should be kept in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the closest pod collection area.
After collecting your Milkweed pods, place them in a paper bag and label with the county and date of collection. Donations will be accepted at the Lucas SWCD office located at 130-A West Dudley St. Maumee, OH 43537. There will be a designated green and yellow bin outside of the front door to drop your paper bags in at any time of the day, now through October 31st.
For more information on OPHI or if you have any questions on the seed pod collection, contact the OPHI at (419)-893-1966 or visit their website: https://www.lucasswcd.org/milkweed.html.