Monarch butterfly

The decline of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to an 80% reduction in the eastern Monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years

Granite Staters are being asked to collect milkweed pods for pollinators now through Oct. 30.

The Fish and Game Department and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension said the seeds will be sown along with other native varieties of perennials by the state Department of Transportation to create “conservation corridors” along highways to benefit pollinators.

“While milkweed serves as a food source for many other species of pollinators, it is the exclusive host plant on which Monarch butterflies lay their eggs, and on which caterpillars feed,” Fish and Game said in a recent Facebook post. “The decline of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to an 80% reduction in the eastern Monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years.”

Common milkweed seed pods should be collected when they are dry and grey or brown in color. According to Fish and Game, they should be stored in a paper bag, labeled with their collection date and county of origin, and kept in a cool and dry place until they can be delivered to a participating collection site.

“It is important for participants to leave some pods on each plant to also allow for natural dispersal and localized reseeding,” Fish and Game officials said.

For more information on collecting milkweed pods, visit extension.unh.edu/milkweed.

Collection bins can be found at these locations. Unless noted otherwise, bins are located outside the front door to the building.

Boscawen: UNH Extension Merrimack County Office, 315 Daniel Webster Highway.

Brentwood: UNH Extension Rockingham County Office, 113 North Road.

Concord: NH Fish & Game Headquarters, 11 Hazen Drive.

Conway: UNH Extension Carroll County Office, 73 Main St.

Dover: Dover Public Library, 73 Locust St.

Goffstown: UNH Extension Hillsborough County Office, 329 Mast Road Room, (bin located inside building, inside entry door to Extension office, Room 101).

Keene: Cheshire County Historical Society, 246 Main St., (bin located next to back door to the building, which is the main entrance).

Newport: UNH Extension Sullivan County Office, 24 Main St.

North Haverhill: UNH Extension Grafton County Office, 855 Dartmouth College Highway.