Thursday, May 5 , 2016, 2:10 am | Overcast 56º

Goleta Girl Scouts, Devereux Help the Monarch Migration at Isla Vista School

Troop 50853 picks up shovels in plant project to establish vital butterfly waystation on campus

By Steven Crandell for Girl Scout Troop 50853 | updated logo |

A Goleta-based Girl Scout troop has joined forces with the Devereux Foundation on an innovative project to celebrate the history of both organizations while providing for the future of migrating monarch butterflies in the area.

Both Girls Scouts and Devereux celebrate their 100th anniversaries this year. To honor the centenary and serve the community, Troop 50853 and Devereux California are teaming up to plant a monarch waystation at Isla Vista School, 6875 El Colegio Road.

Devereux will provide the milkweed plants so vital to the monarchs’ survival after their long migration. Troop 50853, which has nine girls aged 9-10, will do the planting, which will take place on the campus beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. The public is invited to help with the planting, and interested parties should bring a shovel and wear appropriate clothes.

“Many Goleta residents are familiar with the fantastic sight of the monarchs when tens of thousands gather at the Ellwood butterfly preserve in the winter,” said Troop leader Kathleen Clancy. “But most of us don’t know that the butterflies need milkweed and nectar sources to thrive. And these food sources are dwindling.”

The monarch waystation will not only provide food for the butterflies, it’s an educational opportunity for school children.

Isla Vista School Principal Lisa Maglione and garden educator Mike Vergeer say they welcome the new waystation on the campus as an addition to the school’s garden-based activities.

Devereux’s greenhouses, which provide therapeutic training opportunities for its clients, will supply the plants needed for the special project.

“The individuals we serve at Devereux grow and sell plants at the local farmers market and they also do volunteer restoration work at local preserves,” said Amy Evans, executive administrator of Devereux California. “The Monarch Butterfly project fits right in with both of these activities and we’re happy to support our community with this type of project.”

Devereux California provides programs for adults and elders with developmental and intellectual disabilities and/or emotional disorders; neurological impairments; and autism. Programs include campus-based residential services, adult day services and respite services, and community-based supported living and independent living services.

Troop 50853 and Devereux will work with guidance from a nonprofit organization, Monarch Watch.

— Steven Crandell is a Troop 50853 parent.

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