The 5th Annual Pod Picking Day on the Marginal Way will be held on Saturday August
20th. Volunteers meet at the Lighthouse, mid way along the path to pick the seed pods of invasive Black Swallowwort. New this year is an early-bird start at 8am for those who want to avoid the heat. You are still welcome to come at the
regular 9am start time. We will meet back at the Lighthouse at 11:30 – 12:30 for a cookout for all volunteers to thank them for their hard work.
Black Swallowwort is one of our worst invasive plants along the Marginal Way, but also throughout New England. This plant not only carpets the landscape if unchecked, but it also creates a harmful impact on Monarch butterflies. Swallowwort is a foreign relative of milkweed, confusing the Monarch who can only lay her eggs on milkweed plants. The milkweed leaves feed the newly hatched larvae of the butterfly. However, Swallowwort leaves are toxic and kill the larvae after they take a few bites.
The long green seed pods ripen through August, and begin to open in a few weeks with the characteristic milkweed seed parachutes drifting the seeds on the wind into new territory. It is crucial to collect as many pods now to contain the spread of this insidious vine. We semd all the collected pods to the Transfer station to be incinerated along with household trash. All homeowners should do the same. Pods and rooted material should never go into compost piles.
Swallowwort is an extremely tenacious tough invasive species. Over the last four years, our loyal volunteers have collected thousands of pounds of seed pods – perhaps preventing the spread of Swallowwort into your yard.
Experience is not necessary. Team captains will show you how to recognize the plant. Bring a hat, work gloves, and hand clippers if you have them. We provide beverages and snacks. A ‘thank you’ cookout starts at 11:30 for volunteers.
Contact: Joan Griswold
Co-Chair Marginal Way Committee, Ogunquit