More than 90 Solana Beach families collected 350 free, native milkweed plants and 1,430 milkweed seeds on April 24, joining a pledge to help make Solana Beach friendly to Western monarchs and other pollinators. To date, the effort also has been supported by more than $1,700 in donations. On April 23, the City’s landscapers transformed the parking-area garden at La Colonia Community Center into our first public pollinator park. Long-time butterfly gardener (and our Civic Affairs chair) Cindi Clemons helped supervise placement of 100 native milkweed and nectar plants. Milkweed is the only plant where female monarchs lay their eggs; it’s the only food monarch caterpillars eat. Nearby nectar plants provide food for the adult butterflies and shelter for the caterpillars and chrysalides after they pupate. Sign-ups for the plants poured in after the City’s eBlast on April 21. Our entire supply — provided by the City and SeaWeeders — was reserved within hours. A last-minute donation and several “no shows” made it possible to meet demand and still have plants to spare for more public pollinator patches. On April 28, after some weeding and clean-up, we began planting at our community garden on the Coastal Rail Trail. We have identified at least three more public sites for pollinator gardens and are working with the City to get them planted soon. The ongoing pollinator project is a joint effort by the City, Climate Action Commission and the SeaWeeders.
Local growers are working hard to meet demand for native milkweed. For additional plants, try:
Butterfly Farms and the Luca & Micaela Nursery, butterflyfarms.org
California Native Plant Society, canativeseeds.com
Moosa Creek Nursery in Valley Center, moosacreeknursery.com
Native West Nursery, reconnativeplants.com