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Jean Sweeney Open Space Park Fund

Monarch Butterfly Garden In The Jean Sweeney Park

Monarch Butterflies

The Jean Sweeney Open Space Park Fund and Alameda Recreation & Parks Department are working together to create a Monarch Butterfly Garden in the East end of the Jean Sweeney park.

Follow the progress of the Monarch Butterfly habitat here.

Garden Space

Monarch Butterflies make Alameda their home and even winter here after migrating from inland places in California.

The Monarch Butterfly garden will require funding and volunteers from the community to make the garden a success. A Go-Fund-Me page has been created for donations. Donations can also be made from the "Donate" page on this website. All donations made toward the Monarch Butterfly Garden are tax deductable.

Volunteers who want to help with the Monarch Garden should send email to volunteer@sweeneyopenspacepark.org.

Why Build A Monarch Butterfly Garden?

Monarch Butterflies are found only in the Americas, mostly in the United States and Mexico. Monarchs are an indangered species due to loss of habitat all over the Western world. And,they seem to love living in Alameda where a large community of backyard gardens are helping them survive. The Monarch Butterfly undergo complete metamorphosis, or four stages or life cycles over about a years time.

The following images are stock images: Monarch Life Cycles

Each life cycle requires a different environment and food source.

1) The Monarch Butterflies lay eggs. The eggs hatch after about 4 days. The small white dots on the plant below are Monarch eggs.

Monarch egg

2) The eggs become caterpilars (larvae). The only source of food for the caterpilar is milkweed plants. The caterpilar stage is 8 to 15 days. Pesticides found in nursery grown and wild milkweed will kill the caterpillars leaving the Monarch Butterfly with less and less natural habitat. We will need Alameda citizens to help us grow pesticide free milkweed for our garden.

Monarch Caterpillar

3) The caterpilars become a pupa (chrysalis). This stage can take between 8 and 14 days before the butterfly emerges.

Monarch Pupa

4) The Monarch Butterfies emerge from the pupa. It can take almost 24 hours for the Monarch to completly dry and start flying well. The Monarch Butterfly can live from 6 to 9 months.

Monarch Male & female

The Monarch Waystation Program was established in 2005, to engage citizens in conservation by providing information about how to create habitats for monarchs We will be able to register the Jean Sweeney Park garden with the program.

Monarch Waystation

map of park location

Yellow arrows in this Google image show location of the West and East ends of the Park.
There are 27 acres between the East and West ends.