South San Francisco, CA August 30, 2021 by Allie Clevenger, ESC
As you know, the Mission Blue Butterfly is the “official” butterfly of South City. We love it, we strive to protect it, and with that, its delicate habitats. Beyond Sign Hill, there are ways you can help at home, in your very own garden to promote the rebirth of this butterfly and the many other species of butterflies that are quickly waning.
The Mission Blue Nursery in Brisbane offers a wide variety of drought-tolerant native plants that attract our local butterflies and will be open on September 12th along with the outdoor annual Pancake Breakfast hosted by the San Bruno Mountain Watch.
Luckily, there are areas within our communities that will be protected until 2043. Those areas include: South San Francisco, Brisbane, and Daly City. A conservation plan that limits construction near the San Bruno Mountain State and County Park was granted another 30 years of protection in 2013.
The San Bruno Mountain Park’s original Habitat Conservation Plan was the first to be created under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973. It protects more than just the habitats of the Mission Blue butterfly, but the endangered San Bruno Elfin, Bay Checkerspot, and Callippe Silverspot butterflies also fall under its protection. “This conservation plan also ensures survival of 14 rare and endangered plant species found in the 2,864-acre park.”
While this is definitely a win for our local butterflies, the fight isn’t over. Much help is still needed to pitch in to help these populations grow and flourish.
Certain plants are required for butterflies to eat and to encapsulate on. The San Bruno Mountain Watch site lists the required plants that are native to the South City (and surrounding) area that will give them a safe habitat to feed, nest, and emerge as gorgeous butterflies – when the time is right.
There are flowers that are attractive to them once they have emerged from their cocoon, but we need to give them a safe place to start life first. If building your own garden isn’t within your scope, might we suggest giving of your time to help us preserve these sanctuaries.
AND NATIVE PLANT SALE SEPT 12TH
This week alone, there are two opportunities to show your support and volunteer at the Mission Blue Nursery:
- Wednesday, September 1, 2021: 10AM – 12PM
- Thursday, September 2, 2021: 1:30PM – 3:30PM
Volunteer at the Mission Blue Nursery! Sign up and choose which nursery activity to help with!
While you visit, check out The San Bruno Mountain Botanical Garden where volunteers have begun the process of revitalizing the area that has been ravaged by invasive plants and weeds. Much needed to be cleared from the site before planting new native plants – with plans to start with a hundred of them, “most characteristic native plants.”
Sign Hill volunteering is in full swing with the Sign Hill Stewarts:
In 2019, the Parks Division launched the Sign Hill Habitat Restoration Project as part of a Measure K grant with San Mateo County. Since then, project staff and volunteers have spend hundreds of hours restoring Sign Hill by installing native grassland plants and removing invasive plants.
The Sign Hill Habitat Restoration Project provides opportunities for community engagement through volunteer workdays and environmental programming. While regular volunteer workdays are canceled due to COVID-19, the Parks and Recreation Department continues to offer virtual programming through Agents of Discovery.
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