GREENVILLE – Most of have seen or read that pollinator populations across the country are in decline, including the Monarch Butterfly. A reduction in the number of milkweed plants in Ohio and surrounding states and a loss of wintering habitat due to logging, weather and human encroachment have contributed to the population decline of the Monarch Butterfly.
There are ways to help. The typical start date is Sept. 1 through Oct. 31, but with the recent rains the milkweed pods seem to be staying green longer this year; so mid to late October maybe a better collecting time. The Darke Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) will be collecting seed pods from the common milkweed plant. The Monarch relies on the milkweed plant as a host plant, to lay eggs and as a food source. Whether as an individual, or a group, you can make a difference in the Monarch Butterfly population by collecting these seed pods once they have matured and have turned a greenish-yellow or yellowish-brown and ready to burst open. Once collected, the seed pods will be sent away to be dried and cleaned. A portion of the seed will be sent back to Darke County to be incorporated with other seed mixes that will be planted for pollinator species.
To help, call the Darke SWCD office at (937) 548-1752, visit www.darkeswcd.com, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter to find out where the seed pods can be dropped off.