SWCD Milkweed Collection Supports Monarch Butterflies

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning County Soil & Water Conservation District will collect milkweed seed pods from Sept. 1 through November as part of a statewide effort to reverse the decline of monarch butterflies.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources attributes the rapid decline of the butterflies to the disappearance of milkweed, the only host plant for monarch caterpillars, a news release states.

“Milkweed is required for the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Monarchs lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed because monarch larvae and monarch caterpillars’ sole food source is the milkweed leaf,” said Kathleen Vrable-Bryan, district administrator at the Mahoning County SWCD. 

“So these milkweed seed collections could be crucial in the success of the monarchs and, by extension, agriculture in the Mahoning Valley,” she said.

Seed pods collected by the SWCD and others will assist in the planting of milkweed throughout the state to support the monarchs. 

Pods need to be dry, gray or brown (not green) in color to be picked and should be stored in a cool, dry area until they can be delivered to the SWCD office at 850 Industrial Road. Visitors are asked to place milkweed in the bucket at the building’s entrance. They should be stored in a paper bag and labeled with the date of collection and the county in which they were collected.

Pods can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

For more information, call the SWCD office at 330 740 7995.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.