Hermosa Beach Greenbelt becomes a stopover for El Segundo Blue, and Monarch Butterflies

Master gardeners Kari Walker, and Isabelle Rodriquez helped found the Hermosa Beach Community Garden in 2011. Photos by Kevin Cody

by Kevin Cody

Dreams of Hermosa Beach becoming a stopover site for local El Segundo Blue Butterflies, and migratory Monarch butterflies moved closer to reality last Saturday with the planting of hundreds of seacliff buckwheat plants on the Hermosa Greenbelt, at Second Street.

The planting was organized by South Bay Parkland Conservancy President Jim Light, and SBPC Conservation Director Jacob Varvarigos. Holes were dug and plants planted by volunteers attending Mayor Mike Detoy’s weekly Community Cleanup and Conversation. The plants were provided through a $15,000 donation from a resident who asked for anonymity. 

The endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly is found on the Redondo Beach bluffs, and at the Chevron El Segundo Refinery. They feed exclusively on seacliff buckwheat. The SBPC is hopeful that establishing stopover sites on the Hermosa Greenbelt, and the Manhattan Beach coastal sand dunes, between 23rd and 36th Street, will create breeding corridors connecting the Redondo and El Segundo populations.

Monarch butterflies, which migrate from Canada to Big Sycamore Canyon, at Point Mugu State Park, were seen in Hermosa Beach this year for the first time, Light said. Monarchs feed on native, narrow-leaved milkweed, which his group also plans to plant along the Hermosa Greenbelt. Light cautioned against planting non-native Tropical Milkweed, which can be harmful to monarchs. 

For more information visit SouthBayParks.org. ER


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