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Our Story Video

Local enthusiasts ramp up efforts

to aid endangered monarch butterfly

Local enthusiasts ramp up efforts to aid endangered monarch butterfly (

Debbie Lazaga

Traffic Anchor / Reporter


Youtube of our event!!  WTMJ

2022 Monarch Migration Celebration

2022 Monarch Migration Celebration - YouTube

In The News

Thanks to

All who joined us

@ the

Migration Celebration!

Dear Friends of the Monarch Trail,

It’s that time of year again and we need your help collecting milkweed seeds!
 In order to preserve the monarch butterfly and its amazing migration, we need more milkweed throughout the County and State and the entire Country.  We’re all working together in trying to save the monarch butterfly and it all starts with milkweed seeds.  We are now collecting seed for our local projects!
Here’s How:

We are targeting most species of milkweed seed: swamp milkweed, butterfly milkweed, common milkweed and whorled milkweed.

Collect the pods in paper bags—and bring them to the collection site: (Park People, 10300 W. Wisconsin Ave. Wauwatosa WI) There is a collection bin in the front of the building.

Please use a separate bag for each milkweed species. The seeds you collect are used in our region, so we need the following information on each bag: Your name, date of collection, county and state of collection (zip code) and species of milkweed (i.e. common, swamp, etc.).

We encourage you to recruit your class, school, scout group, neighborhood association etc. to organize a collection project. The end of September through October is the best time to collect pods.

When, Where and How to collect Milkweed Seed Pods:
When the pods are first beginning to split (ripe but as yet to open pods should split upon touch and the seeds should be brown or “browning up”).  Do not collect pods in which the seeds are white, cream colored or pale.
 Be sure to obtain permission before collecting on private property or federal, state or county properties.  Be safe and please do not collect along busy highways.
 Q.) How much should I collect?
Collect as much as you can!  Many pounds of milkweed seeds are needed for seed mixes used in roadside or landscape restoration.  Two to four onion bags of pods will yield about one pound of seeds.
 Helpful Hints:

The timing of the collection of milkweed pods or seeds is critical. Mature pods are those that are within a day of two of opening. If you squeeze the pods and they don't open easily, they usually do not contain mature brown seeds. Seeds well into the process of browning and hardening will germinate when planted next season. Milkweed seeds can be sown outdoors in fall after the first hard frost as they need to be stratified.

Milkweed bugs feed on milkweed seeds rendering them inviable. Do not collect open pods with numerous milkweed bugs on the seeds or pods. Avoid introducing milkweed bugs into the bags in which you are placing pods.

The bin will be available outside 24/7 by the front door of the Wisconsin Ave. Park Pavilion, (Park People office, 10300 W. Wisconsin Ave. Wauwatosa WI)

Once collected—we will dry them and hold a Milkweed Shucking event so everyone can come help separate the seeds from the fluff.  This is REALLY fun!  The “Milkweed Shucking” date is Saturday October 22, 2022, 1 - 3 pm (weather permitting) at the Monarch Trail (visit our website for a map).  Look for the colorful flags and you will find us and the fluff!  Please follow us on Facebook and visit our website at for updates.
Thank you for your support!

Milkweed sap can damage your eyes.
The initial irritation is a bit painful followed by a cloudiness of the cornea which can take a week to clear up.  You don’t want this to happen to you or anyone who works with you.  Wear gloves while collecting milkweed pods and avoid contacting your face, or region of the eyes, with the gloves.  Wash your hands carefully after handling milkweed pods.  Should milkweed sap get into your eyes or that of a fellow collector, seek medical attention immediately.