Thursday, August 11, 2016

Milkweed for Monarchs

Pollinator species are experiencing population declines across the United States. In particular, the monarch butterfly has drastically declined in Ohio and in the wintering grounds of Mexico.  In an effort to increase habitat for migrating monarch butterflies, Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District and the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) announce the 1st Annual Statewide Common Milkweed Pod Collection scheduled from September 1st- October 30th.   Ohio is host to seven species of milkweed and is a priority area for monarch habitat conservation.  Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the species of focus for the 1st Annual Statewide Common Milkweed Pod Collection.
This effort has the potential to increase milkweed, the sole host plant for monarch butterflies. The monarch butterflies that hatch here in the summer migrate to Mexico for the winter and are responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring. 

To make the Common Milkweed Pod Collection successful, local involvement is needed and that is where the Guernsey County community can play a major role.  In partnership with OPHI, Guernsey Soil & Water is promoting the Common Milkweed Pod Collection, providing pollinator education and designating the Soil & Water office as a drop off site for common milkweed pods during the months of September and October.  Please join Guernsey Soil & Water in this effort to replenish an essential plant in Ohio and thus benefit Monarch populations.  

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