YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) is once again collecting milkweed seed pods through November.

It is part of a statewide effort to reverse the decline in monarch butterflies.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the disappearance of milkweed is a problem because it’s the only host plant for monarch caterpillars.

They need the milkweed seeds to be dark brown, not milky white or light brown which would mean they are not ready to plant.

“The monarch butterflies are not only beautiful to look at but they are a very important species as a pollinator. So I always tell folks for every three bites of food, don’t thank an aisle at your local grocery store, thank a pollinator,” said Kathleen Vrable-Bryan, district administrator of the Mahoning County SWCD.

Pods can be dropped off in the bins at the SWCD office at 850 Industrial Rd. in Youngstown. You can go Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The pods should be stored in a paper bag and labeled with the date of collection and the county in which they were collected.