Pollinators such as bees and monarch butterfly populations are in decline. Loss of habitat is one of the leading reasons for this. Pollinators are important because they are responsible for 1/3 of our food supply- or 1 in 3 bites of food you eat! They move pollen from flower to flower “pollinating” – that brings us apples, almonds, strawberries, and many other fruits and vegetables. Without pollinators many of our favorite foods become a thing of the past!
It is important that we take the steps to protect pollinators. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to create a pollinator garden in your yard! An abundance of colors and shapes are sure to attract a variety of pollinators. Choosing plants that are native to our area also help ensure the plant will be able to tolerate the climate here and are more likely to attract our native pollinators. Also, keep in mind to select a variety of plants that will bloom throughout the growing season so there is always something blooming for the pollinators.
Be sure to include the milkweed plant in your garden! Monarch butterflies rely solely on the the milkweed plant for reproduction. Disappearance of the milkweed has had a direct affect on their population numbers. In an effort to help combat this critical decline the Paulding SWCD is collecting milkweed seed pods. These closed pods should be brown in color and brought in a paper sack. The collection container is on the porch of the Black Swamp Nature Center. Seeds collected in October will be donated to the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative. This program was started to “inform citizens, landowners, farmers, and government agencies of the importance of pollinators and the habitat they need to survive. Members of the initiative are the core professionals that provide education, outreach, and technical assistance to all that have an interest in pollinators and protecting our food supply.”
Learn more about the Ohio Milkweed seed pod collection HERE
Learn more about Pollinators and creating your own pollinator garden HERE.