Help Build A Monarch Butterfly Garden in Jean Sweeney Park

Wikipedia A Monarch butterfly gathers nectar from sage plants. Alamedans hope to attract more of these beauties to Jean Sweeney Open Space.

Help Build A Monarch Butterfly Garden in Jean Sweeney Park

Sun Staff Reports

The Jean Sweeney Open Space Park Fund and the Alameda Recreation & Parks Department (ARPD) are joining together to create a Monarch Butterfly Garden in the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park.

ARPD will provide the space in the park as well as updating the space with new soil, installing professional irrigation, and purchasing and planting the nectar plants needed for the monarch butterflies.

ARPD has estimated the cost for these items plus staff time to be $20,000. The garden will be located near the Central Self Storage between the playground and Sherman Street.

Donations can be made on the Go-Fund-Me page at

Your tax-deductible donation will help create and maintain this new habitat for monarch butterflies in Alameda.

The garden will be a community project with help from individuals, groups, organizations and schools to build and maintain the garden habitat for all stages of the butterfly’s life cycle and most of all, to grow pesticide-free milkweed from seed. Volunteers should send email to

Milkweed and flowering plants are needed for a Monarch habitat. Adult monarchs feed on the nectar of many flowers, but they breed only where milkweeds plants are found. Monarchs living west of the Rocky Mountain range in North America overwinter in California so Alameda has monarch butterflies year round.

According to California Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Monarch butterfly’s North American migratory populations, have experienced dramatic declines over the past 20 years due to a suite of interrelated factors.

These include habitat loss in breeding and overwintering sites, habitat degradation, disease, pesticide exposure, and climate change.

The most recent population census of the western population, conducted annually by The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, revealed that fewer than 2,000 individual butterflies currently seek shelter in California’s coastal groves.

Western Monarch numbers have dropped by 99% from an estimated 4 million butterflies just twenty years ago.

Working together we can pro-vide an additional habitat for the monarch butterfly in the Jean Sweeney Park and provide an opportunity for Alamedans to learn how we can help the monarch butterfly survive.

Follow the progress of the monarh butterfly garden on the park website at