News from Gibbs Park

February 2017: Many thanks to our volunteers Alyssa, Autumn, Stella and Taylor for helping clear the trees felled in the recent storm.

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January 11, 2017: Great Daily Pilot article about Jean Nagy and the Huntington Beach Tree Society here.

December 23, 2016: Great Daily Pilot article on Leslie Gilson, Gibbs Park, Norma Gibbs and work on monarch restoration here.

November 2016: The monarchs have returned to Huntington Beach Central Park in trees behind the Amphitheater. Thank you to DeeDee Gollwitzer for the great photo.

Monarch Butterflies at HCP Clumping

Monarch Butterfly Clusters in Huntington Beach Central Park. Taken by DeeDee Gollwitzer. ūüôā

November 9, 2016: John Runyard flew a drone around Gibbs Park. Those dry brown spots are the field from above. The blue circles are the playground area. And the trees are the eucalyptus trees of Gibbs Park.


October 17, 2016: Scout butterflies are showing up in the tree in the circle garden during the day. However, they seem to move around a lot each night and are hard to find.

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October 16, 2016: A long needed and deserved thank you goes out to the Gibbs Park Watering crew, especially Doug and John (and Gary and Lou along with the supporting cast of dogs: Scout, Bobbie, Nickie, and Leroy). Thank you for keeping the trees and plants alive during the drought.

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October 13, 2016: Met Leslie at Gibbs Park today. She said that the scout monarchs are starting to look at the Gibbs Park trees for a migration spot. Let us know if you see them!

Sept 24, 2016: Tina Stevenson (amazing Gibbs Park docent) and Leslie Gilson presented Gibbs Park and the monarchs at the Global Festival in Irvine. See what her presentation looks like here: Thank you so much Tina and Leslie for everything you do.



July 21, 2016: There are two, count ’em, two owls in the park!¬†We were treated to THIS owl moving and trying to get the attention of our resident owl. What a sight. They are by the 2nd gate north side big tree with three trunks.

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July 17, 2016: If you are playing Pokemon Go, there are great Pokemon to be had on the second bench from the left near the butterfly mosaic (between the J position mosaic and the light post I think the guy said he caught a 680 ponyta there?). There is another Pokemon site on Ray’s bench near the garden circle. ūüôā Good luck!

July 15, 2016: Thank you to DeGuelle Glass for donating new plexiglass for the kiosks.



We added mulch and weeded along the Summerlane side. It looks great!

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May 20, 2016: Someone stole the donation boxes from the park. PLEASE be our eyes and ears. Call 911 you do not need to leave a name. The police are aware of the problems at the park.

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May 20, 2016: Finn especially likes the Butterfly Park!


May 19, 2016:¬†Someone set fire to one of our old blue gums. Thank heaven it did not set the grove or the neighborhood on fire. They removed Leslie’s trellis and tried to use it as wood. An accelerant was used.¬†Last week a young man was seen trying to get into our donation box during the day. Please, if you see crime happening, report it. You do not have to give your name to the police. Leslie

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May 13, 2016: Another feathered friend enjoyed the flowers in the park. ūüôā


April 5, 2016: Our Great Horned Owl friend is still in the park. He moves from tree to tree, so hopefully you might catch a glimpse!

April 2, 2016:  Leslie Gilson and Tina Stevenson represented Gibbs park at the Home Depot Water Wise event. Thanks Tina and Leslie!

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March 21, 2016: The Great Horned Owl has moved back to the tree in the center circle.

March 14, 2016: An amazing shot of the owl by DeeDee Gollwitzer. ūüôā It seems to be roosting in the tree nearest the yellow iris on the north wall. Look straight up in a tree fork and you might see it.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

March 11, 2016: A Great Horned Owl has decided to roost in Gibbs Park. Isn’t it amazing?

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March 10, 2016: Here is how monarch butterfly tagging works.

February 11, 2016: Leslie tagged and released a female monarch she raised from Gibbs on January 21. She found her again today! Yay, they are sticking around!

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Here is a video of the tagged butterfly mating

January 24, 2016: Yay! The monarchs faked us out the other day! They seem to be sticking around and having a great time. ūüėÄ

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January 23, 2016: The Huntington Beach Central Park monarch cluster seems to be dispersing. What a wonderful sight it was when it was here.

January 21, 2016: Girl Scout Troup 3113 cleaned the tiles and fence at Gibbs Park. Thank you all. Well Done!!!

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January 17, 2016:  120 butterflies from the Huntington Beach Central Park cluster were tagged by Dr. Justin Wright,  Dara Satterfield,  Leslie Gilson, and Priscilla Cruz. Wing measurements were taken and butterflies were tested for OE (the parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, which is a parasite which can pass from the female butterfly to hurt its offspring).  The condition of their wings was noted and the data and tagging will help with the migration information.


January 15, 2016: The butterflies are moving down to the lower branches and into smaller clusters. Here they are sunning themselves:

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January 12, 2016: What a wonderful day! Lots of butterflies sunning themselves and mating. Here are a couple of pictures:

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January 6, 2016: We weathered a large storm and so did the butterfly cluster.

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January 1, 2016: The monarchs are flying around in the grove when it’s sunny. It’s magical!

Mourning cloak landed on Ashley’s hand in Central Park by the monarch clusters. She says butterfly’s like her. They landed on her at least 5 times while we were there.


Here is a video of one monarch cluster fluttering:


December 29, 2015: Happy Holidays and fantastic news!¬†The butterfly clusters are behind Central Library. The first tree in front of the old amphitheater. There is a pix of where in these pix. Leslie is so excited that they didn’t leave Huntington Beach!

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A map to the location is here

Monarch map Dec 2015

December 17, 2015: The Gibbs winter garden is in bloom. Leslie found 9 caterpillars in the park today. Enjoy the flowers!

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December 3, 2015: An adorable home schooling group came by and cleaned the fence. Thank you so much!

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November 24, 2015: (via Facebook) Joyce Nagatani was able to capture and foster the crimson rosella and the people at the Huntington Beach Lost and Found Pets Facebook page transported it to Parrots First rescue in Sylmar. Yay for the rescue!

November 13, 2015: Here is a picture from DeeDee Gollwitzer of a small butterfly cluster early last month. No reported sightings as yet of another butterfly cluster but we did see a crimson rosella (a red Australian parrot) in the Eucalyptus trees this morning. It was reported by birder Barbara Boethling and she took a picture of it here.

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November 2, 2015: Here are some pictures Leslie took of the little cluster. They still seem to be moving around.

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November 1, 2015: A very tiny cluster of 15 was spotted in a tree on the north side of the park. Here is a map to the site. If you look on the north wall, there is a large yellow bush (Leslie says it is a senna tree). The second eucalyptus just south of that bush is where the tiny cluster was spotted.

Butterfly roosting map Nov 1 2015

October 31, 2015: Happy Halloween! Here is an Orange County Register article¬†by Greg Mellen about monarch butterflies and an interview with Leslie! Kurt Snibbe put together a great graphic too! ūüôā

October 30, 2015: First sightings of Monarch Butterfly Scouts! Here is where we have seen them! To get a better view, click on the picture, but they seem to be landing on the south side trees of the circle.

Butterfly roosting map Oct 30 2015

October 26, 2015: In Feb 2015, Eagle Scout Charlie Nguyen, Eagle Scout Khoi Hua and Eagle Scout Troup #980 built a fence to enclose a garden circle in Gibbs Park. It looks wonderful and the plants are thriving, thanks to the special care from Leslie Gilson, Doug Wheeler and John Jones. Here are some of the latest pictures:

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October 23, 2015: The cluster should be coming soon! Here is the first queen butterfly! ūüėÄ


October 19, 2015: In June 2014, Eagle Scout Alex Pham and his Eagle Scout Troup and the HB Tree Society got together for a curb appeal project for Gibbs Park. It’s been doing great!

Here is how it looks after a year: IMG_3352 IMG_3351 IMG_3350 IMG_3348 IMG_3346 Spectacular!


September 21, 2015: Leslie noticed this wonderful website with great information on how to raise and release monarchs for migration. While this is not in our area, it is a great resource. Raise the Migration 3 began on Saturday, August 15, 2015, but you can still start now. Emails went out on:

1. Raising Migration Monarchs Supply List Suggestions

2. Hunt, Gather, & Protect Monarch Eggs

3. Taking Care of Baby Caterpillars

4. Cage Cleaning Tips for Raising Healthy Monarchs

5. Monarch Chrysalis Problems & Development

6. Monarch Diseases, Parasites, and Caterpillar Killers

7. Raising Q & A Session through Chrysalis

8. Eight Amazing Facts about the Monarch Migration

9. How to Safely Release Monarchs for the Great Migration

10. Raise The Migration- 2015 Results + Post Yours


September 18, 2015: We just noticed the City of Huntington Beach Public Information Office put out a great video celebrating Norma Gibbs’ 90th birthday at the Park! Here it is!

September 16, 2015:¬†Gibbs lake LOL. So happy for rain. ūüėÄ

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September 4, 2015: A fantastic wedding at the Park! Now this is how a wedding at the butterfly park should be!

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July 8, 2015: Happy 90th birthday, Norma Gibbs! Norma, her family, friends and the city of Huntington Beach celebrated at Gibbs Park. Here are some pictures (and a surprise):

image013    image004   the party at Gibbs Park



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image001  image010 Having a great celebration!

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then came a surprise: Doug Wheeler (you can catch him at the park with his dog Scout) presented Leslie with a butterfly plaque that he made commemorating all of her hard work for the Park. Thanks Doug and Leslie!

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It looks fantastic!

July 4, 2015: Have a wonderful and safe July 4th!

June 30, 2015: Leslie and Tina gave a tour for 10 families at the park today. Here are some pictures.

IMG_2669 Hugging our giraffe tree

IMG_2666 Tina pointing out our sunflowers that were planted by another group of children

IMG_2661 Looking at nests

June 21, 2015: Happy Father’s Day at Gibbs Park. ūüôā

May 26, 2015: Gibbs celebrates Memorial Day. Blessings on all those who gave their lives so we could live in freedom.


May 4, 2015: Happy Star Wars Day! Our circle is filling out so beautifully. The poppies were spectacular. Next comes the cosmos.

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Our curb appeal outside the butterfly area is looking really pretty.

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April 27, 2015: Enjoy the flowers. ūüôā Thank you to everyone for making Gibbs so beautiful!

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This week, we found this plaque in Gibbs.

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April 25,  2015: Happy Earth Day to everyone! Thank you to all of our volunteers! They painted all the benches and tables, weeded, painted the front pylons, and watered our trees.
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Feb 7, 2015: Thank you to Eagle Scout Troup #980 and Eagle Scouts Khoi Hua and Charlie Nguyen in particular for building a fence around the center bed.  It is a wonderful addition to the park and so many people are commenting on it.

Before the fence:

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After the fence:

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Feb 2015: Say hello to Ray our senior volunteer. You are never to old to be out in nature and give back to your community. Thank you Ray.


 Jan 2015: The 2014 migration was observed to have 150 monarchs.

Dec 4-6, 2014: Butterflies are clustering again in Bob’s tree shown below in the map. Bob was a longtime friend of Gibbs Park. Bob’s tree has a helicopter toy and a chucker in it. Look near the chucker to see the cluster.

Butterfly roosting map Dec 6 2014


Dec 2-3, 2014: Much needed rain to Gibbs Park! Hurray!

November 30, 2014: Happy Holidays from the Butterfly Park!

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November 27, 2014: Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We added a new page to document monarch butterfly research conducted at Gibbs. Enjoy!

November 24, 2014: Professor Francis Villablanca and his research team from the Biological Sciences Dept. at Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo conducted a day of tagging and research on 50 butterflies. The butterflies were tagged with fuchsia-colored tags. They were tested for a disease specific to monarchs, wings measured, body density recorded, and females checked for eggs. Samples of the 4th instar caterpillars were taken back to their lab at school. Every third milkweed was checked. Some chrysalis were found and taken back to their lab.

We ask the public to please let us know if they see a fuchsia¬†tagged butterfly mating or laying eggs. You don’t need the tag number just the fact that they were laying and what day. You can contact Leslie by phone 714 335 5051 or email

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November 21, 2014: Still no sign of a large butterfly cluster. Did see a small black and white woodpecker in the back of the park. It could be a Nuttall’s Woodpecker. Find it and see what you think!

November 17, 2014: Aww! The cluster went away and moved. Saw only one little cluster in the earlier sites.

November 16, 2014: What a windy day! Some of us at the park saw a cluster of 15 or so monarchs on the tree shown here on the map. There were 4 caterpillars on the milkweed outside Roy’s house.

Butterfly roosting map Nov 16 2014

November 15, 2014: Leslie saw some butterflies mating and the movie is here:

November 14, 2014:  Leslie did some investigating about those tagged butterflies. Apparently, Bryan Burks from the LA Arboretum and Monika U. Moore from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo were at Gibbs Park on 11/11/14 at 1:00 PM and released five male monarchs, 2 of which were those pictured below.

DeeDee Golwitzer found a great monarch genome article here and shared:

November 13, 2014: How awesome is this?  There were three tagged butterflies  today at the park. Leslie Gilson was able to catch two and they were tagged in Fullerton. She is awaiting info on when they were tagged and who tagged them.
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November 7, 2014: We have many small roosts in different trees.  The butterflies are flying, nectaring and mating during the day.

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November 4-5, 2014: They seem to be moving around a bit.

November 2, 2014: This was taken in the late afternoon. More arriving.

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November 1, 2014: The butterflies are settling in the same spot that they used last year! Here are some great pictures of them

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They are in the middle of the garden circle on the eucalyptus tree that is closer to Graham side on a lower branch. It is located in the park here:

Butterfly roosting map Nov 1 2014

October 31, 2014: Happy Halloween everyone!

October 30, 2014 mid-day:¬†More butterflies coming in. They still haven’t settled down and are in a few trees. Here are a few new pictures from Leslie:

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October 29, 2014: Updated the map with some dates and locations here:

Butterfly roosting map Oct 29 2014

October 27, 2014: From a Google Maps image, here is an approximate map of the latest Monarch roosting sites (click on the image to see the detail). Please let us know if you find other sites in the Park.

Butterfly roosting map Oct 27 2014


and here are a couple of butterflies having fun at the park


October 26, 2014 (morning): It is still a warm day and by late afternoon all butterflies were flying and not in clusters. I believe we will have more and more each day.

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October 23, 2014 (later in the day, from Leslie): Wow. Right on time the roosting  is starting at Gibbs. We have yet to see the cloud of butterflies come yet but its early. We have about two different sites that they are in. One site is back by the circle of flowers and the other is opposite the circle. I am only counting about 15 now but am sure more will come. Stay tuned.

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October 23, 2014: Rechecked the tree this morning and saw 5 monarchs in the same place! Here is a picture of 4 of them. Hooray! Migration season is here again!

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Later on, we captured an image of the partial solar eclipse and Leslie got a great picture of more roosting monarchs here (click on it to see a full size version of the butterflies). If you happen to see the cloud of butterflies flying on in, please let us know!

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October 22, 2014: We saw 5 potential migrating monarch butterflies roosting on the eastmost tree in the middle of the circle. Here is a picture of one possible migrant. That makes the migration happening a day earlier than last year! There are a few local butterflies around and they seem to be landing in the previous clustering spots. Check out the spots and see if you can catch a glimpse of them.


October 16, 2014: We have fall weather: hooray! A few local butterflies are around and soon the migrating butterflies should come. Butterfly counts are down this year, which is true throughout California. The curb appeal project is still growing nicely, but some of the trees are feeling the effects of the drought.

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September 9, 2014: Yay for the start of school! Our curb appeal project is growing nicely! Enjoy!

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August 13, 2014: Hope everyone had a great summer! Our curb appeal eagle project is growing and looking beautiful. Thanks Alex and troop!

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June 7, 2014: Eagle scout Alex Pham and troop volunteers planted 6 coastal oak trees and over 50 nectar plants for the butterfly park back area.  These trees will help block the wind for the habitat. Another project in curb appeal for the H.B. Tree Society. Thank you so much!

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April 13, 2014: Thank you Webelos1 DEN 7 pack 287 for planting spring flowers! Looks great!



March 29, 2014: Leslie Gilson and Tina Stevenson represented Gibbs park at the Home Depot Water Wise event. Great job!


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March 4, 2014:¬†Gibbs Park was added to the¬†Monarch Joint Venture’s Map of Success! It is the first in California! You can see the entry here.

March 1, 2014: Leslie discovered a series of 11 great videos about Monarchs put out by the University of Minnesota. It is the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project and the introductory video can be seen here.

February 24, 2014:¬†Such senseless graffiti at Gibbs. A big thanks to the City of Huntington Beach, which responded immediately and¬†painted all benches, removed paint from the tiles, cleaned the kiosks and benches.¬†We finished up with the walls as they couldn’t blast them. Huntington Beach Police Department is working on the case. You can read about it on their Facebook page¬†here.

February 2014: Leslie Gilson had the opportunity to go to El Rosario Sanctuary in Mexico. Look at all of the wonderful butterflies!


January 2014: Over 200 migrant butterflies came and went from Gibbs park until December 15, 2013.

December 1, 2013: The butterflies are still here!

November 30. 2013: Carol Bills talks about Gibbs park for the California Urban Forests Council here.


November 21, 2013: Leslie reports that even after the rain, the cluster remained.

November 20, 2013: Leslie took a few pictures of the new cluster and here they are:

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Gibbs migration Nov. 20 2013 001

November 18, 2013: Nice sunny, slightly breezy day and the roosting monarchs are back in another large cluster!

November 17, 2013: There are a few roosting monarchs, but the count seems to be waning. Hope we get another wave of migrating butterflies!

November 16, 2013: Leslie updated the pictures in the kiosks. You might want to check it out!

November 14, 2013: ¬†We just got a nice video of Monarch Magic 2013. Here it is! By the way, the monarchs are still roosting in the park. If you look at the eastmost tree in the circle, you should see 3 roosting sites. 2 of the roosting sites are indicated by blue X’s in chalk on the sidewalk. If you look straight up, you should be able to see the monarchs. Leslie also found monarchs roosting in Bob’s tree, the big tree just north of the circle with a metal plaque. Have fun!

November 11, 2013: The migration is still here at ¬†Gibbs. Here is absolutely fantastic picture of the monarch roosting in Gibbs by Cory Morris (Denise Morris’s son. Denise is a regular at the park with her dog Sadie).


October 23, 2013: The migration has landed at Gibbs. Back by the circle in the middle above the in ground butterfly. This is the most we have had in two years.


October 4, 2013: Girl Scout Troup #2708 toured Gibbs.They learned about bugs trees plants and butterflies. After that, they helped plant milkweed seeds to feed the butterflies. Thanks for visiting!

September 28, 2013: Keaton Nalle and his Eagle Scout troup with their fathers and grandfathers made an amazing addition to the park: a 3 sided kiosk in the middle! Here are some pictures of what they did. Thank you so much!