Escondido butterfly garden takes flight

Escondido butterfly garden takes flight
The Plaza Del Arroyo pocket park was created in 2014 to showcase a vision for Escondido creek that is more natural and welcoming to people and wildlife. Courtesy photo

ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Creek Conservancy will hold an urban butterfly garden planting on from 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 4 at the Plaza Del Arroyo pocket park located beside Evans Tire along the Escondido Creek Trail.

“We hope this area becomes an essential resource for urban wildlife and a place for people to enjoy nature,” said Nathan Serrato, TECC’s volunteer and marketing manager. Funding was provided by a grant from Escondido Shines to plant the site with pollinator plants.

The pocket park was created in 2014 to showcase a vision for Escondido creek that is more natural and welcoming to people and wildlife. Funded in part by the Escondido Charitable Foundation with support from the city of Escondido, the park is owned by Evans Tire and maintained by TECC and its volunteers.

The butterfly garden is one of many projects that TECC envisions to transform the Escondido Creek trail into a vibrant, 100-acre linear park linking natural open spaces around the city and improving pedestrian access and safety. 

The organization was recently awarded a grant to develop a design that would naturalize a portion of Escondido Creek in Grape Day Park as a pilot for the entire 6-plus-mile concrete flood control channel. That project, which will take two years, is starting this fall. 

Contributors to the garden include Greg Rubin, owner of California’s Own Native Landscape, Inc., who chose the plants for the area and provided the landscape design and Gigi Hurst of Habitat West, who will assist with planting and irrigation. Members of California State University of San Marcos’ Garden Club and Environmental Studies Club will help with planting and trash removal.

Rubin, a renowned landscape designer, author and speaker supports the TECC’s vision for the Escondido Creek.

“I have always been supportive of the conservancy’s conservation efforts in my home base of Escondido,” he said.

He said he feels that the location of the butterfly garden will showcase the beauty and practicality of a native landscape and serve as high-quality habitat for wildlife. 

San Diego is the most biologically rich county in the continental U.S., according to the Nature Conservancy’s website.

“Not only is it important to provide habitat to support the rich diversity and beauty of California’s ecology, pollinators serve a practical purpose in the production of fruit trees and food crops,” Rubin said.

Native plants were selected that are both drought-tolerant and good habitat for pollinators such as butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

“Pollinators are in peril all over the planet from pollution and habitat loss, so every garden, no matter how small, can make a difference,” Serrato said.

Space is limited and volunteers must register online at goo.gl/gCLkiX. Volunteers should bring a hat, sunscreen and water bottle. Gloves will be provided.

The TECC has plans to plant other gardens later this year and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, according to Serrato. For more information, visit www.escondidocreek.org or contact Nathan Serrato at nathan@escondidocreek.org.

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