Community Invited to a Free Monarch Butterfly Forum THIS Saturday

Hear from Experts on the Past, Present, and Future of this Beloved Insect

GOLETA, CA, February 24, 2020 – Learn about the monarch butterfly at a free forum hosted by the City of Goleta and California Coastal Conservancy this Saturday, February 29 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Ellwood Elementary School (7686 Hollister Avenue). Attendees will learn about the monarch butterfly and local efforts to restore the population. Butterfly expert Dan Meade, Ph.D., will share information about the crisis and how residents can help the Xerces Society’s “Western Monarch Call to Action”. George Thomson, the City of Goleta’s new Parks and Open Space Manager, will also provide an update on the Ellwood Mesa/Sperling Preserve Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan.

Along the coast of California, spectators experience a remarkable annual migration of the western monarch butterfly, including an October to February stop at Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa/Sperling Preserve Open Space. As recently as 2011, visitors to the Preserve’s eucalyptus groves were amazed as more than 50,000 butterflies clustered in the trees to roost during the overwintering season.  However, the monarch butterfly population is now in crisis with recent monarch butterfly population estimates reaching their lowest levels in recorded history. This year fewer than 300 monarch butterflies were counted at Ellwood Mesa during the peak of migration.

George Thomson, Parks and Open Space Manager, adds, “The Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan, approved by the Goleta City Council in 2019, is a comprehensive approach to preserve, restore, and enhance the monarch butterfly habitat at Ellwood Mesa.  The City of Goleta is committed to the long-term stewardship of our local monarch groves and is grateful for the $3.9 million grant from the California Coastal Conservancy to ensure this unique habitat receives the attention it deserves.”

This event is intended for adults, however, children are welcome. If you would like more information on this workshop, please visit our website at or contact JoAnne Plummer, Parks and Recreation Manager, at (805) 562-5505.

Attached: Flyer and image of a monarch butterfly


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