After a long year, we are finally back. With many people vaccinated and numbers looking good, we will be resuming monthly park cleanups this month. YAY!!
To fill you in on what has been happening, the park has not been neglected for the past year. Although the rain forgot to come, volunteers have gone to the park to pull weeds, clean up trash, and most importantly, enjoy its natural beauty. In fact, with many playgrounds closed during the pandemic year, there was an uptick in visitors. Lots of kids enjoyed climbing on the fallen oak, dogs and their minders took pleasure in walking, and others just relaxed.
Helping the monarch butterfly
We spent extra time this year growing and planting native milkweeds in the Butterfly Garden and around the rest of the park. In addition, volunteer, Monica Kelly, represented Friends of the Nature Park by distributing seeds of native milkweeds to the public at the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market. Although we still are experiencing loss of milkweed due to gopher damage and generally difficult garden conditions, we are seeing many more seedlings and young plants. And yes, the monarch butterflies have found the milkweed. While working in the park we are often accompanied by the delightful soaring of these magical butterflies.
Remember, you too can help the monarch butterfly by planting native milkweed. Tropical milkweed, the one with orange flowers, increases the spread of a deadly parasite (OE), so remove or cut back this plant in winter, and stick with narrowleaf and other native milkweeds. Also, include drifts of nectar plants for the butterflies.
Although there was very little rain this winter, the bush sunflowers, poppies, globe gilias and other wildflowers made their appearances anyway. However, the flush of wildflowers was shorter than usual, as plants hurried along to enter dormancy with so little water available.
A Pandemic Year in the Park
Pre-schoolers release butterflies, March (Up L); Sunflowers at park entrance, August (Up R); Ladybug eyes its lunch, a juicy oleander aphid on narrowleaf milkweed, April (Mid R); Installation of owl box, Feb. (bottom)
Volunteer Days Resume
We are resuming our scheduled monthly volunteer days on the third Saturday of the month, May 15th. As usual, we will be there from 9 AM to noon. Although the spread of covid outdoors is not a high risk, please wear a face mask and maintain social distancing of 6 feet as recommended by health officials.
Where: 100 block of Pasadena Avenue in So Pas, east of York Street Bridge
When: 5/15/21; 9 am – noon
Nature Park volunteers should:
– Bring and wear a face mask – covering both mouth and nose
– Wear sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
– Bring plenty of water
– Bring gardening gloves and tools (weeders, trowels, whatever you use in your own garden), there are extra tools and gloves for those who need them
– Wear comfortable work clothes, including work shoes (sneakers or boots) and long pants
– Bring binoculars for birdwatching (optional)
Children must be under adult supervision at all times. There is poison oak in the park that we will point out before starting.
The South Pas Nature Park is a four-acre habitat park along the Arroyo Seco. The entrance, marked by a small plaque on an attractive river rock wall, is in the 100 block of Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena, east of the York Street Bridge. There is plenty of on-street parking on Pasadena Avenue.
We are planning to hold our regular park cleanups on the following Saturdays (9am – noon):
- MAY 15, 2021
- JUNE 19, 2021
- NO SCHEDULED CLEANUPS IN JULY AND AUGUST
- SEPT 18, 2021
- OCT 16, 2021
- NOV 20, 2021
- NO SCHEDULED CLEANUP IN DECEMBER