Everyone knows monarch butterflies look like beautiful stained glass windows in flight. However, almost no one has seen the nearly extinct Palos Verdes blue butterfly in the wild because they are so rare. Yet, in the last 30 years, 90% of the monarch butterflies have disappeared and even less of the population of PV blue butterflies exists in the wild. If we do nothing, we risk losing both species in the next 30 years. What can we do to stop it?
Butterflies desperately need native plants and some butterflies rely on just one host plant species to sustain their lifecycle from laying eggs to feeding rapidly plumping caterpillars. While the Conservancy plants special host plants to help sustain an array of butterflies on the Preserves, wouldn’t it be great if the entire Peninsula was dotted with little areas where butterflies and other threatened pollinators could flourish? Many of you may have your yard carefully landscaped. But do you have a hillside or a corner you could dedicate as your own “butterfly reserve?”
The Land Conservancy is preparing “Butterfly Baskets” for sale in fall and spring to help make it easier for homeowners and apartment dwellers to support the threatened species we all love. One basket will provide you with four plants to put in the ground (or into a super large pot) and you can pre-order spring baskets for pick up in March 2022. If you’d like to spread the word, ask your neighbors if they will join you in planting some natives to create a waystation for butterflies. Or you might call the Conservancy to arrange a butterfly birthday bash with friends, where you make ten (or so) pots available and throw an outdoor planting party, where each of your guests goes home with a butterfly flower and pot. The butterflies will arrive later, with the right plants in place to attract them!
If you have questions, or if you know a school group, HOA or other organization that would like to help, please contact Development Director Susan Wilcox at email@example.com.