Monarch Butterflies Return to Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa

Monarch Butterflies Return to Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa title=
Photo: Mike Eliason
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Source: City of Goleta

The City of Goleta is pleased to share that monarch butterflies have returned to Goleta! Over 15,000 monarchs are spending the winter at Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Grove. After completing a long journey from inland California, this group of butterflies is settled into the eucalyptus tree grove until February. The return of the monarchs this year is especially exciting since it is a sign of hope that their population is increasing after many years of concerning, low numbers.

George Thomson, Parks and Open Space Manager for the City of Goleta, said, “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.” 

The best time to visit the Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Grove is during mid-day, when monarchs are flying around and more visible. If visiting during early-morning hours, or during cooler days, look for clusters of butterflies clinging to the ends of branches. Please don’t throw objects at clusters of butterflies or shake branches to get them to take flight. Please also remember to keep dogs on-leash. 

The Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Grove is open to visitors. It is free to the public, with parking available on the 7700 block of Hollister Avenue. The Butterfly Grove is a 20-minute walk from the parking lot. Visitors are encouraged to avoid parking in the adjacent residential neighborhood. For specific locations, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/goletabutterflygrove.

The City of Goleta is planning habitat and trail improvements for Ellwood Mesa, including the Monarch Butterfly Grove. To find out more, or for questions about visiting the Butterfly Grove, please contact George Thomson, Parks and Open Space Manager, at gthomson@cityofgoleta.org or 805-961-7578.

 

Ellwood Mesa Butterfly Grove_group_Mike Eliason Dec 2021

Pictured: Ellwood Mesa Butterfly Grove, December 2021, photo credit: Mike Eliason 

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Lucky 777 Dec 24, 2021 05:34 PM
Monarch Butterflies Return to Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa

Wonderful news. A natural phenomenon that everyone should make a pilgrimage to see. After recent dismal counts this is such positive upswing in numbers. Remember when you go visit to WEAR ORANGE and they will be more likely to land on you.

popcorn Dec 24, 2021 05:16 AM
Monarch Butterflies Return to Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa

Great photo + what wonderful news! Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Grove is a community treasure. It's not only wonderful to experience the exquisite monarchs, it's wonderful to see people enjoying the wonder + beauty of the natural world. Kudos to all who maintain this area. Let the community know about how we can help!?

RHS Dec 23, 2021 06:29 PM
Monarch Butterflies Return to Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa

A lesson for us to attend to. Nature survives. These butterflies existed before there were eucalyptus trees in CA for example. They will adapt as long as we get out of the way a bit. Same with the rain we are experiencing. We should not panic over a year of "drought" in CA as it is part of the program. (This does not mean that we should poison the environment or misuse its resources, just that we should "chill out" a bit and garner some perspective.)

PitMix Dec 27, 2021 11:43 AM
Monarch Butterflies Return to Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa

I have tropical milkweed that seeds each fall. Shouldn't it be okay if I take out the old plants after they seed and let the new ones come up in the spring? then I don't have plants spreading diseases from year to year, right?
The native ones I planted didn't do well at all.....

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