Holmes SWCD to serve as milkweed collection site

Holmes SWCD to serve as milkweed collection site
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Milkweed is the only host plant for the monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. It also serves as a food source for monarchs as well as many other pollinator species.

                        

The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative is calling on Ohioans for a third year of milkweed pod collections. This project started in 2015 as a pilot project, and since then hundreds of Ohioans have worked together to collect thousands of gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 25 million seeds.

Milkweed is the only host plant for the monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. It also serves as a food source for monarchs as well as many other pollinator species.

The disappearance of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to the 80-percent decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years. SWCD staff are working hard to change this, and you can help. Collection efforts can be improved in 2018 by following these simple tips:

Make sure before you collect seed to become familiar with the common milkweed to avoid harvesting pods from similar plants such as hemp dogbane and swamp milkweed.

It is best to collect the pods when they are dry, grey or brown. Green pods will mold and must be discarded.

If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be harvested.

Store the pods in paper bags; plastic bags collect unwanted moisture.

Put the date and county collected on the bag when you turn them in. A percentage of seed is returned to each county to be distributed to interested landowners.

Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the collection site.

Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District is a collection site with an outdoor receptacle placed outside the back door where pods can be deposited at any time (drive through the parking lot in the back of the building).

The address for the SWCD office is 62 W. Clinton St. in Millersburg between Wayne Savings Bank and Ace Hardware.

Holmes SWCD will collect seed pods Sept. 15 through Oct. 30. For questions call Karen Gotter at Holmes SWCD at 330-674-2811 ext. 3.


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