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City of Goleta Offers a Unique Butterfly Program

Post Date:11/01/2018 8:58 AM

Goleta, CA, November 1, 2018 - The City of Goleta is offering an alternative way to understand and experience the phenomenon of the overwintering Monarch Butterflies. The City, in partnership with Nature Tracks, Fish and Wildlife, the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, and dedicated volunteers, created the Goleta MOVES (Monarch Overwintering Visual Experience Simulation) program to help children continue learning about butterflies while the City is creating a plan to restore safe access to the Goleta Butterfly Grove on Ellwood Mesa. Currently public access is limited due to the dangers associated with the dead and dying trees.

Said Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, "It is great to see what a dedicated group of people can accomplish. The City and our partners have come up with a truly wonderful way for children, residents and visitors to still have a simulated experience at Goleta's Evergreen Park. With the Goleta MOVES program, the children will not only learn about one of Goleta's treasures - the Monarch butterflies, but also gain a better understanding of climate and habitats."

Everyone is welcome to visit the simulated experience at Evergreen Park from October through March. Four clusters of 100-150 feathered monarch butterflies have been placed in an area most closely representing the grove at Ellwood Mesa. In addition to the outdoor exhibit, the program includes display boxes for students to see butterflies up close as well as materials and activities to assist in the education process. To get to the simulated grove, walk past the playground equipment (located on Evergreen Drive near Hillview Drive) and over the footbridge. Walk approximately another 50 yards and the area is on your left down the grassy hill.

School children and special interest groups are encouraged to visit. The Goleta MOVES program is designed to educate 1st and 2nd graders on the lifecycle of the butterfly, and to teach 6th graders about climate and habitats. School groups, and other groups, can request a docent-led tour, complete with display cases, curriculum and games. If you are interested in a field trip and/or docent-led tour, or would like to become a volunteer, please contact the City of Goleta’s Butterfly Docent Coordinator, Diana Garcia, at or 805-961-7554.