Seed pods needed for Monarch habitat

Staff Writer

Due to the drastic decline in the population of the Monarch butterfly and recent designation as an endangered species, the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative is again seeking public involvement to collect and drop off mature common milkweed seed pods at collection stations around the state.
The seeds will be used to establish new plantings and create additional habitat for the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators throughout Ohio. The Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District is participating in the program again and is a collection station for Lucas County.
Collected pods can be dropped off anytime in the designated bins outside the Lucas SWCD office at 3350 Hill Ave., Suite K, Toledo.
For a list of the participating Soil and Water Conservation Districts, visit
Ohio is a priority breeding area for Monarchs. The butterflies that hatch here in the late summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring. Residents are encouraged to collect fully-mature, dry milkweed pods from established plants on their property until Nov. 12 and drop them off at the nearest collection station.
Seed pods from common milkweed should be collected when they are dry and gray or brown in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, the pods are ready to be picked. It is best to put harvested pods in paper bags or paper grocery sacks.
Store seeds in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the closest pod collection area. Label the paper bag with the county and date the pods were collected.
The OPHI was formed in response to the 2014 petition to list the Monarch butterfly as federally endangered. Its partners include state of Ohio agencies, universities, corporations, and non-profit organizations.
OPHI’s mission is to inform citizens, landowners, farmers, and government agencies of the importance of pollinators and the habitat they need to survive. For more information contact OPHI at 614-620-9830 or the Lucas SWCD district at 419-893-1966 or


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