Seen in Natomas: New Butterfly Garden Abloom

Image of orange poppies and other flowers in foreground with Jeff Harris standing in the background.

Vice Mayor Jeff Harris stands amidst a new butterfly garden in Niños Parkway. / Photos courtesy Jeff Harris

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

A new monarch butterfly garden is blooming in Niños Parkway.

Map of Ninos Parkway.

Source: Google Maps

“This little-used stretch of parkland can become much needed habitat for an endangered species, and bring a lot of beauty to the Northgate/Gardenland neighborhood,” Vice Mayor Jeff Harris posted on Facebook on Saturday, May 17 along with several photos.

Harris represents Gardenland, Northgate and most of South Natomas on the Sacramento City Council.

Scientists report that monarch butterflies are at critically low levels in the western states due to destruction of milkweed habitat along the insect’s migratory route. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants and after the caterpillars hatch, they feed on milkweed leaves until they form into a chrysalis while they metamorphosis into a butterfly.

Niños Parkway is a 47-acre parkland which runs from Morell Court north to San Juan Road in south Natomas. The butterfly garden is near Northfield Drive and Niños Community Garden.

That’s where milkweed and other native plants which provide nectar for adult monarchs have been planted by Harris’ office, with help from Angela Laws, an endangered species conservation biologist with the Xerces Society, and Raymond Costantino, the city’s Division Manager of Park Planning and Development Services. Youth volunteers also helped with the planting, Harris said.

The goal: to create a monarch butterfly flyway along Niños Parkway.

“It’s a great teaching tool,” Harris said. “My hope is to create two miles of monarch habitat, and to create a destination for people to see thousands of monarchs annually.”

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