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Annual Milkweed Pod Collection Set to Begin

It’s that time again!

The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative is calling on Ohioans for a second year of Milkweed pod collections. This project started in 2015 as a 7 county pilot and last year hundreds of Ohioans worked together.  Since then the volunteers have collected approximately 5000 gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 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% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years. We are working hard to change this, and you can help.

Let’s make our collection efforts in 2018 even better by following these simple tips.
• Make sure that before you collect seed, you 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. IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHECK THIS
• 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.
• Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the nearest collection site.
• You can find the nearest collection site at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/SWC/searchlocalSWCD.aspx

Collections start September 1st and goes until October 30th (we will accept pods until November 1st)
If you have questions regarding milkweed collection, please contact Marci Lininger at Marci.Lininger@dot.ohio.gov  or Lori Stevenson at Lori_Stevenson@fws.gov.
For more information on Milkweeds refer to this video! http://u.osu.edu/beelab/milkweed-seed/

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