Feb 2, 2013 4:05 PM by Lindsay MacLeod, KSBY News

Pismo Monarch Grove celebrates Western Monarch Day

The Central Coast is home to the largest monarch grove in the state, and on Saturday, they celebrated California Western Monarch Recognition Day.

The Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove hosted the free, family-friendly event. Guests could enjoy activities like booths and a discovery station. Children were also invited to come dressed in costume.

"It's such a beautiful place to be, so people come, they hear about it on TV. They know it's an unusual attraction. The butterflies come early October, then they're gone by the end of February, and then you will not see a Monarch here until the next year," said Suzy Will, a volunteer at the park.

The park has a butterfly counter, and organizers say around 28,000 monarchs made their way to the grove this year. "we have the perfect microclimate for them to over-winter. They come from the whole Northwestern United States, as far away as Canada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and they're just fine there during the rest of the year, but when winter comes, they can't survive the temperatures," said Will.

Will says one of the most commonly asked questions is if the butterflies go to Mexico after their stay on the Central Coast. She says only Eastern butterflies go to Mexico, and the butterflies here return to the northwest.



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