GOLETA The city of Goleta and California Coastal Conservancy will be hosting a free forum this weekend, where attendees can learn about the monarch butterfly and local efforts to restore the population.
The event will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Feb. 29 at Ellwood Elementary School, at 7686 Hollister Ave. Butterfly expert Dr. Dan Meade will share information about the butterfly population crisis and how residents can help the Xerces Society’s “Western Monarch Call to Action.” Goleta’s new Parks and Open Space Manager, George Thomson, will also provide an update on the Ellwood Mesa and Sperling Preserve Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan, according to city officials.
As recently as 2011, more than 5,000 butterflies clustered in the trees at Ellwood Mesa during the winter season, from October to February. The population is now in crisis with the recent butterfly population estimates reaching their lowest in recorded history. This year, less than 300 monarchs were counted at Ellwood Mesa during the peak of migration, officials said.
“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,” Mr. Thomson said in a statement. “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.”For more information about the workshop, visit www.cityofgoleta.org or contact JoAnne Plummer, Parks and Recreation Manager, at 805-562-5505.