Goleta MOVES Butterfly Educational Program Returns

The City of Goleta’s Monarch Overwintering Visual Experience Simulation (MOVES) program returns for its second year! For years, the Goleta Butterfly Grove at Ellwood Mesa was not only a magical sight to behold, but an interactive outdoor classroom for many as well. While the Ellwood Mesa was closed from July 2017 to February 2019 to assess the dead and dying Eucalyptus trees, Goleta MOVES was developed in collaboration with the City, committed organizations and volunteers.

The MOVES program seeks to enhance the community’s understanding and awareness of the Western Monarch Butterfly’s southwesterly migration, including the many groves in Goleta they call home during the overwintering season. In its second year, the program continues to educate and facilitate the community’s children, residents, and visitors about the wonders of the Monarch Butterfly.

In lieu of the restricted access to the Goleta Butterfly Grove at Ellwood Mesa, the City of Goleta obtained a grant in November 2017 to promote the development of an outdoor exhibit at Evergreen Park. The Goleta MOVES program currently maintains a curriculum designed for K-2nd grade, and is working to further the development of a curriculum focused on the importance of habitat conservation and preservation for older children.

Thanks to a team of passionate volunteers and professionals from Nature Tracks, Fish and Wildlife, Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, and the City of Goleta, the exhibit will return for its second year. While the Grove is now open to visitors, Goleta MOVES provides another educational experience. As supplements to the exhibit, the program has a set of display boxes for students and visitors to see butterflies close up, in addition to other materials and activities to assist in the educational process. Fieldtrips are currently being scheduled and are approximately 45 minutes in length.  For more information, or to schedule a field trip, contact Isaiah Geronimo, MOVES Coordinator, at 805-961-7554 or igeronimo@cityofgoleta.org, or JoAnne Plummer, Parks & Recreation Manager, at 805-562-5505 or jplummer@cityofgoleta.org