for every one in three bites of food you eat."
The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge is a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. As we explore and enjoy the "great outdoors", take time to make connections between pollinators and the healthy food we eat.
September 1st and goes until October 30th (pods accepted thru November 1st)
Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. It also serves as a food source for Monarchs and many other pollinator species. . The disappearance of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years. We are working hard in Ohio to change this, and you can help!
Here are helpful and simple collection tips:
• Before you collect seed pods, become familiar with the common milkweed to avoid harvesting pods from similar plants such as hemp dogbane (a poisonous herb) or swamp milkweed.
• It is best to collect the pods when they are dry, grey, or brown. THIS is IMPORTANT! Pod collection starts Sept 1 and runs through Oct 31… please use September as the benchmark time to locate milkweed plants and to keep an eye on the pods while they ripen; then pick them once they look like the picture shown below.
• If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be harvested.
• Store the pods in paper bags (vs. plastic bags collect unwanted moisture).
• Place the date and county collected on the bag when you turn them in.
• Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you deliver them to the nearest collection site as with Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District located in Lebanon, Ohio or you can find the nearest collection site at:
Photo Courtesy of a Monarch
by Molly Conley, WCSWCD Director and
Natural Resource Engineer
Monarch Butterflies are migratory; they live in the northern region of our continent during the summer and avoid bitter cold winters by flying south to warmer regions in Mexico or southern U.S. regions. In one season, a single Monarch can cover thousands of miles of flight.
The arrival of monarchs is celebrated in many towns; citizens even help scientists document and share data, like est. population counts, dates of arrival and departure with geographic location included .
The Viceroy Butterfly looks similar to the Monarch butterfly (mimicry), but differs slightly in color and pattern. For identification purposes, observe the black border around the monarch's wings that has rows of tiny white dots. A hairy, black body "sports" a few tiny white dots on the monarch's head and "neck", intricate white dashes are on both sides of its black abdomen, and their colors will begin to "pale" as the monarch butterfly becomes weathered.
Male or Female?
Unlike female monarchs, the male monarchs have a small black spot on the surface of the hind-wings. The spot is visible when the wings are open (faintly or non-visible with closed wings).
Males also have slightly thinner wing veins. Female monarchs tend to be slightly darker than males; the tip of the abdomen of the male and female are visibly different.
ODA Plant Health Division - Apiary Program:
Seven Ways to Help Pollinators: //www.pollinator.org/7things
Visit the Zoo’s EcOhio Farm and Wetland in Warren County, Saturday September 29th, 2019