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Ongoing Projects

Our most recent and ongoing projects below, feel free to join us and volunteer with us for future events. 

Mayors' Monarch Project

Mayors' Monarch Project

In April 2021, Mayor Lesa Heebner and Solana Beach City Council members signed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to help make Solana Beach friendlier to Western monarchs and other pollinators. The pledge is a challenge sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation to encourage urban and suburban communities to create more habitat friendly to birds, bees and butterflies.


The pledge was proposed by members of the SeaWeeders who teamed with the City's citizen-led Climate Action Commission and scientist Heidi Dewar, who recognized that taking the Mayors' Monarch Pledge would help advance the goals of the City's Climate Action Plan. The 2017 plan had been updated in 2020 to include the following:

  • Encourage the use of native landscaping on both public and privately-owned land.

  • Project and restore native habitat and ecosystem functioning.

  • Enable wildlife movement by improving wildlife passages, riparian corridors and planting native species to attract local pollinators including bees and butterflies.

As public-private partners, we planted the City's first pollinator park on April 21, 2021 in our City’s first neighborhood, La Colonia de Eden Gardens. This community was established in the 1920s to house workers for nearby orchards and ranches. Many of those early, primarily Mexican-American residents not only built their own homes, but also laid the piping that brought fresh water from then-recently damned Lake Hodges. Many of the current residents of La Colonia are proud descendants of these first families, who are celebrated in a “Tree of Life” mosaic on the community center building.

 

Ribbon-cutting for the new garden took place during National Pollinator Awareness Week. Speakers included Mayor Heebner, Climate Action Commission member Dewar, SeaWeeders Garden Club president Kathleen Drummond and La Colonia Foundation board member Lisa Montes. Also attending were City Council members, City public works and other staff members, as well as representatives from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Multiple monarch butterflies fluttered in the garden and through the crowd during the event, as if performing for the audience.

In recognition of the La Colonia garden’s heritage, we installed bilingual signs about the native milkweed and nectar plants there, as well as about the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly. A “little free library” box was erected, which a City staff member hand-painted in a monarch-garden theme. 

 

On April 24, 2021, the SeaWeeders sponsored a give-away of 350 native milkweed plants and 1,430 milkweed seeds to more than 90 Solana Beach families. We continue to offer milkweed and native nectar/pollinator plants for sale to residents at nearly wholesale prices.

 

Also in April, 2021, the SeaWeeders began adding milkweed and nectar plants to the "community garden" we maintain along the City's Coastal Rail Trail. Milkweed and native nectar plantings have continued annually as a joint venture with the City and have expanded along the full 1.8-mile stretch of the Rail trail, as well as to two other public parks. Additional pollinator patches are planned. Target sites include the Mindful Garden at Skyline Elementary School, a new park planned at Larrick Reservoir, and in the City’s Public Works yard off Highland Drive.

 

In October 2021, monarch butterflies were the theme for our community's annual Dia de los Muertos fiesta. During the event, local leaders educated attendees about the importance of migrating monarchs in Mexican culture. In a “planting ceremony," local children bedded native, narrowleaf milkweed in el Jardin de los Niños at the Boys & Girls Club in La Colonia Park. At the SeaWeeders' booth, children wriggled through a monarch “caterpillar” tube to "earn" butterfly wings they had crafted with orange tissue paper. We continue to participate annually at Dia de los Muertos, selling copies of Monarch Butterflies by Ann Hobbie, chair of the Monarch Joint Venture, and providing crafts and other educational opportunities. 

 

Each year, the City of Solana Beach reports progress on Monarch Pledge activities to the National Wildlife Federation. Read the 2023 report.

El Viento Pocket Park

El Viento Pocket Park

Our most recent and ongoing project is to complete phase-two improvements at El Viento pocket park, a small, triangular park at the corner of North Granados Drive and El Viento Street, just a block west of the Solana Beach Fire Station. The City of Solana Beach approached the SeaWeeders in 2019 about taking the park to a "next level." It had been created through road improvements and neighborhood volunteer efforts about a decade earlier, but suffered from erosion after heavy rains.  Another challenge: There is no access to water on the small site for irrigation.

In September, 2019, our club won a $4,000 grant from the Solana Beach Foundation to pursue improvements. The City Public Works department and Public Arts Commission also promised financial support to maintain the park, which is one of 20 public art sites in the city. Katie Pelisek of Pelican Landscape Design developed a landscape concept plan to include water-wise aloes, agaves, yuccas and cacti, as well as Sea-Lavender, Blue Bush Wattle, Crown of Thorns and Mexican Lobelia. 

As public-private partners, we planted the City's first pollinator park on April 21, 2021 in our City’s first neighborhood, La Colonia de Eden Gardens. This community was established in the 1920s to house workers for nearby orchards and ranches. Many of those early, primarily Mexican-American residents not only built their own homes, but also laid the piping that brought fresh water from then-recently damned Lake Hodges. Many of the current residents of La Colonia are proud descendants of these first families, who are celebrated in a “Tree of Life” mosaic on the community center building.

Ribbon-cutting for the new garden took place during National Pollinator Awareness Week. Speakers included Mayor Heebner, Climate Action Commission member Dewar, SeaWeeders Garden Club president Kathleen Drummond and La Colonia Foundation board member Lisa Montes. Also attending were City Council members, City public works and other staff members, as well as representatives from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Multiple monarch butterflies fluttered in the garden and through the crowd during the event, as if performing for the audience. In recognition of the La Colonia garden’s heritage, we installed bilingual signs about the native milkweed and nectar plants there, as well as about the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly. A “little free library” box was erected, which a City staff member hand-painted in a monarch-garden theme. 

On April 24, 2021, the SeaWeeders sponsored a give-away of 350 native milkweed plants and 1,430 milkweed seeds to more than 90 Solana Beach families. We continue to offer milkweed and native nectar/pollinator plants for sale to residents at nearly wholesale prices.

 

Also in April, 2021, the SeaWeeders began adding milkweed and nectar plants to the "community garden" we maintain along the City's Coastal Rail Trail. Milkweed and native nectar plantings have continued annually as a joint venture with the City and have expanded along the full 1.8-mile stretch of the Rail trail, as well as to two other public parks. Additional pollinator patches are planned. Target sites include the Mindful Garden at Skyline Elementary School, a new park planned at Larrick Reservoir, and in the City’s Public Works yard off Highland Drive.

 

In October 2021, monarch butterflies were the theme for our community's annual Dia de los Muertos fiesta. During the event, local leaders educated attendees about the importance of migrating monarchs in Mexican culture. In a “planting ceremony," local children bedded native, narrowleaf milkweed in el Jardin de los Niños at the Boys & Girls Club in La Colonia Park. At the SeaWeeders' booth, children wriggled through a monarch “caterpillar” tube to "earn" butterfly wings they had crafted with orange tissue paper. We continue to participate annually at Dia de los Muertos, selling copies of Monarch Butterflies by Ann Hobbie, chair of the Monarch Joint Venture, and providing crafts and other educational opportunities. 

 

Each year, the City of Solana Beach reports progress on Monarch Pledge activities to the National Wildlife Federation. Read the 2023 report.

Fire Station Native Garden