Easily accessible to Goleta and Santa Barbara schools, Goleta Butterfly Grove is a delicate resource available for educational presentation of the Monarch butterfly migration and how it culminates with over-winter gathering in preparation for the spring breeding. Butterflies coursing hundreds of miles north for the warm months begin the inter-generational story that brings their third generation off-spring back each winter here at Elwood. While the larger mid-west to Mexico corridor of Monarchs is ever more threatened by pesticides and de-forestation, this western group provides comparisons in geographic forces bearing on one of the last great migrations on the planet.
Historical eucalyptus, local native plants and invasive plants provide lessons in habitat and preservation on land that overlays an important geological fault and a base for exploring the broad geological features of Santa Barbara County from the Channel Islands to the Santa Ynez Range. On the beach we are able to study tides, the coastal zone habitat and the geology of the Monterey formation in the cliffs as it relates to local oil industry and the basin and range visibly evident in this location.