More than 15,000 Monarch Butterflies will spend the winter at Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Grove.
The butterflies have settled into the eucalyptus tree grove after their long journey from inland California, where they will stay until February, according to a news release from the city of Goleta.
Parking for the Ellwood Mesa is in the 7700 block of Hollister Avenue of Goleta.
The city encourages people to avoid parking in the adjacent neighborhood. For specific locations, visit: tinyurl.com/goletabutterflygrove.
Admission is free.
The return of the Monarchs is seen as a sign of hope that their population is increasing, after many years of low numbers.
“Ellwood Mesa is the gateway to the Gaviota Coast and a great place to escape for a quiet walk. We are so fortunate to witness one of nature’s great migrations right here in our own backyard,” said George Thomson, the Goleta parks and open space manager.
According to the city of Goleta, the best time to visit Ellwood Mesa is mid-day when the butterflies are flying about. If making a visit in the early morning or on cooler days, look for clusters of butterflies at the ends of the branches.
The city asks that people don’t throw objects at the butterflies or shake the branches to get them to fly. As they look at the butterflies, people are also asked to keep their dogs on a leash.
The city of Goleta is planning habitat and trail improvements for Ellwood Mesa, including the Monarch Butterfly Grove.
For more information, contact Mr. Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-961-7578.