Special to 1812Blockhouse
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (Richland SWCD) is partnering with the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) to collect common milkweed seed pods to help foster habitats for Monarch butterflies.
Milkweed seed pods are starting to mature to the point where they can be harvested. Start scouting fields and if pods appear slightly gray and are dried out they are ready to pick. Seeds inside should be brown before harvesting. Last year’s massive statewide seed collection effort was spearheaded by the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI), which is working to get the word out about why monarch butterflies are disappearing and help partners create monarch habitat.
The disappearance of milkweed, the only host plant for monarch caterpillars, across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years: htp://ow.ly/ncwE30fwsKC. If you wish to help with this project, collect the pods in a brown paper bag. Drop off collected milkweed seed pods until November 5 in the green and yellow container located outside the Richland SWCD office at 1495 W. Longview Avenue, Mansfield.
Here are a few additional reminders when collecting Milkweed Seed Pods:
During the winter, seeds from this year’s milkweed seed pod collection will be removed from the pods and returned to Richland SWCD in the spring to be distributed for planting. Last year’s collection effort resulted in 184 milkweed seed packets with planting instructions. If you want free milkweed seeds with planting instructions, please email [email protected]
If you have questions about collecting milkweed seed pods or other Richland SWCD programs, please call 419.747.8686 or go to https://richlandswcd.net/.