ODOT asking Ohioans to help with pollinator program
Columbus (Tuesday, August 23, 2016) – With the drastic decline in the
population of the monarch butterfly, the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative
(OPHI) is asking the public for their help in creating new habitats by
collecting milkweed seed pods from established plants Sept.1 through Oct. 30
and dropping them off at collection stations around the state. The seeds will
be used to establish new plantings for the monarch butterfly throughout Ohio
in the coming years.
“Common milkweed is essential to
the survival of monarch butterflies in Ohio,” said Marci Lininger, Biologist
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Ohio is a priority area for
monarchs. Fourth generation monarch butterflies hatch in Ohio in late summer,
migrate north to Canada and then come back through Ohio once more in order to
fly to Mexico for the winter. This same generation is also responsible for
starting the life cycle all over again in the spring, laying the following
year’s first generation of monarchs.”
Ohio counties have a Milkweed Pod Collection Station, most of them being
located at local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) offices,” said
Lori Stevenson, Ohio Private Lands State Coordinator with the U.S. Fish and
find the location of your local SWCD office, click here.
collect the seed pods from the suggested milkweed plants, it is best to pick
them when they are dry, gray, or brown in color. If the center seam pops with
gentle pressure, they can be picked. It is best to collect pods and store
them in paper bags or paper grocery sacks. Avoid using plastic bags because
they attract moisture. Store pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver
to the closest Milkweed Pod Collection Station. Harvesting pods from milkweed
plants does not have any effect on the population of milkweed in
When collecting milkweed pods
wear appropriate clothing for the outdoors. It is recommended that you wear
disposable gloves when picking and handling pods. Always ask permission when
collecting pods on anyone’s property but your own.
is one of the largest landholders in Ohio with more than 19,000 miles of
right of way,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “Planting milkweed and other
native wildflowers on our roadsides benefit pollinators who in turn benefit
agriculture. They also beautify our highways and reduce mowing costs – a
double bonus for Ohio taxpayers.”
was formed in response to the 2014 petition to list the Monarch butterfly as
federally endangered. Its partners include the Ohio agencies, universities,
corporations, and non-profit organizations.
informs citizens, landowners, farmers, and government agencies of the
importance of pollinators and the habitat they need to survive. Members
of the initiative provide education, outreach, and technical assistance to
all that have an interest in pollinators and protecting our food supply.
more information or questions concerning pollinators, please contact OPHI at
(614) 416-8993 or contact your local SWCD office.
more information, contact: Matt Bruning, ODOT Press Secretary, at
614-466-6906, email@example.com, or your local
ODOT district communications office