It’s almost harvest time again, and not just for corn, beans and beets.

Common milkweed seed pods are ripening and will soon be ready to pick, and the local DNR office is again interested in receiving any milkweed seed local residents are willing to donate.

Last year’s response was overwhelming and permitted DNR staff to seed 17 acres of the Cedar Rock Wildlife Management Area (WMA) with a mix of native grasses and wildflowers that are laden with common milkweed seed.

Within another couple years this will provide excellent habitat for monarch butterflies. 

The monarch butterfly is a species that has undergone massive population declines over the past two decades.

Seed collected this year will be used to plant a new addition to the Phylis Voosen WMA near Vesta.

Due to COVID-19 concerns the DNR office is largely closed to the public at this time, but a converted trash can will be in place outside the front of the building at 1241 East Bridge Street in Redwood Falls between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 1 and running through Halloween.

Any amount of milkweed seed is appreciated.

For more information e-mail Area Wildlife Manager Jeff Zajac at jeffrey.zajac@state.mn.us.

- Image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service