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Mahoning County conservation district collecting milkweed to reverse decline in monarch butterflies

“Milkweed is critical for the survival of the monarch population, as they are the only host species for the monarch butterfly,” Kathleen Vrable-Bryan, district administrator at the Mahoning County Soil & Water Conservation District, said.
Milkweed (1)
Milkweed pods need to be dry, gray or brown in color to be picked. (Contributed photo)

YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning County Soil & Water Conservation District is collecting milkweed seed pods through November as part of a statewide effort to reverse the decline in monarch butterflies.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources attributes the rapid decline of the monarch butterfly to the disappearance of milkweed, the only host plant for monarch caterpillars, a news release states.

“Milkweed is critical for the survival of the monarch population, as they are the only host species for the monarch butterfly,” Kathleen Vrable-Bryan, district administrator at the Mahoning County SWCD, said in the release. “The milkweed seed collection is a great way to make a difference for monarchs.”

Seed pods collected by the SWCD and others will support planting of milkweed throughout the state. 

Pods need to be dry, gray or brown in color to be picked and should be stored in a cool, dry area until they can be delivered to the SWCD office at 850 Industrial Road.

Pods can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. They should be stored in a paper bag and labeled with the date of collection and the county in which they were collected.

The Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative encourage people to assist in replenishing milkweed throughout the state. Learn more here.

For information, call the Mahoning County SWCD’s office at 330-740-7995.

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