Want to help protect monarch butterflies? Become a milkweed collector

Local News

The butterfly population is rapidly declining but there is something you can do to help


Source: Mahoning County Soil & Water Conservation District

(WKBN) – You can help save the rapidly declining monarch butterfly simply by collecting milkweed seed pods.

Milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterflies and the only source of food for caterpillars.

The Mahoning County Soil & Water Conservation District Office is collecting those seed pods. They’ll use them to establish habitats throughout the state.

“Monarch butterflies are pollinators, which are critical to agriculture in Mahoning County and throughout Ohio,” said Kathleen Vrable-Bryan, district administrator. “This annual milkweed seed collection effort is a great opportunity to help reverse the decline in the monarch population by providing a food source and a resting and nesting place for them. I truly believe we’ve seen an increase in the monarch species since this program began.”

Here are some tips for picking milkweed:

  • Pods must be dry, gray or brown in color
  • Store the pods in paper bags, not plastic
  • Put the date and county where it was collected on the bag when you turn them in
  • Keep the pods in a cool, dry place until you drop them off
  • Please wear a mask when delivering the pods

You can bring the milkweed to the Soil & Water Conservation District Office at 850 Industrial Rd. in Youngstown Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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