P.G.'s Monarch Sanctuary ready for butterflies' return.
Monday, September 27, 2010
"22 days, 43 trees, donations, help and hope, welcome home monarchs?"
That was the Sept. 22 email from Bob Pacelli, the Pacific Grove resident who spearheaded an effort to fix a fall 2009 hack job on the Pacific Grove Monarch Grove Sanctuary's wind-buffering trees.
The group launched a fundraising campaign to pay for the trees, labor and equipment. The city later agreed to match the group's funds. As of Sept. 22, Pacelli reports, $6,000 has been raised, with $2,000 to go.
City leadership - which initially skirted responsibility for the fall 2009 pruning and its impacts on the butterflies, saying the population drop could have been caused by any number of environmental factors - now appears more conciliatory toward its upset monarch advocates.
"Staff made a mistake over a year ago with the trimming in the sanctuary," writes City Manager Tom Frutchey by email.
"Over a year later, and after apologies by the mayor and others, that mistake continues to be referred to on the 10 o’clock news…We can’t change the past, but quite a few people are working with Bob Pacelli and others, to more than fix that prior mistake."
With the trees in place, monarch lovers are now anxiously anticipating the arrival of the first butterflies, which overwinter in the sanctuary from October to March.