Mountain View is using a grant from Google to create new habitat for monarch butterflies at the city’s Shoreline Park.
The $30,000 grant will help the city develop and maintain three “pollinator” habitats on nearly 8 acres in the city’s popular wildlife and recreation area, city officials said.
“We’ve been scoping out locations that would be good for establishing pollinator habitat throughout Shoreline,” said Mountain View Assistant Director of Community Services Brenda Sylvia.
The areas will be planted with milkweed, which supports monarch larva, as well as other native flora like buckwheat, sage, sunflowers, asters and golden rods, which the mature butterflies enjoy, Sylvia said.
“I grew up in Santa Cruz and we always took a trip in school to the redwoods to see the monarchs and they would land on your nose and things like that so I’m very excited about this project,” Sylvia said.
The first phase will kick off on a half-acre site inside the nine-acre North East Meadowland area, followed by a 2.7-acre site near Pond 1 at the Shoreline Golf Links and a 4.5-acre site near Pond 2 on the golf course.
Both habitats are expected to be completed in 2022, according to city officials.
The pollinator habitats are also home to a burrowing owl population and the butterflies will be a welcome source of food for the owls, as well as other small birds and insects in the park.
The project will provide the butterflies, whose populations have been in decline due to habitat loss, with areas for breeding, migrating and overwintering, Sylvia said.
In addition to creating the new butterfly spaces, the city has also been certified as a monarch butterfly habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
The Google grant will also help the city with community outreach for the project and to solicit volunteers to help out.
More information is available on the city’s website.