News from Gibbs Park

August 25, 2019: I realize this is out of the timeline order, but this is important (from Leslie): Norma Gibbs has passed on to that great butterfly park in the heavens. She was 94. Norma was our first woman council member and our first woman mayor. She was instrumental in founding our library, senior center in Central Park, and was a champion for women and children in need. She founded interval house a program for abused women. She was a professor in educational psychology at Cal State Long Beach.  She will be missed. A celebration of life will be Sept 21 at 2 pm at the new senior center.

She was an amazing, amazing marvelous person and will be deeply missed. Please remember her motto: “You can fly, but that cocoon needs to go.”

Sept 1, 2019: Many, many thanks to the Ocean View High School Key Club volunteers. who worked hard to clean up the park and move a tremendous pile of much needed mulch throughout the park. Many thanks to Scott and Donna (as supervised by Alan) to finish off the mulch. It really is wonderful to have such amazing support.

August 27, 2019: Leslie took a couple pics of the great horned owl born at the Park today. Here is what one looked like back in January:

She also reported that someone spotted a whydah at the Park. Please look around in Gibbs to see if you can spot any of these birds.

Pin-tailed whydah (one similar to this one was spotted at Gibbs Park).

August 2019: Many, many thanks to Tina Stevenson, Gibbs Park Docent extraordinaire, for updating the kiosk information boards. They look great, Tina! Come to the park and see the new information about our resident owl and cooper’s hawk families, and maybe you can even find them in the trees.

April 25, 2019: Spring at Gibbs Park. Look at the huge red poppies.

March 12, 2019: While this is not in our Gibbs Park, with the rains this year, there is an abundance of Painted Lady Butterflies migrating from Mexico to Oregon. Here is a video that Leslie found/made/? of a Painted Lady swarm in a Mission Viejo parking lot.

Feb 9, 2019: This butterfly was tagged by Leslie Gilson on 1/12/19 and  he was released at Gibbs Park. He was seen nectaring on 2/6/19 on the east side of meadowlark golf course west of Springdale. He lived 25 days through the rain and bad weather. We are hoping he will be seen again. Amazing lifespan for a monarch. :)


December 16, 2018: A wonderful picture of Leslie and Norma Gibbs (the Norma Gibbs!  :-D ) at the AAUW talk. Happy Holidays everyone!

October 3, 2018: Soon we will have a new look! Our old front was a maintenance nightmare. Thanks to Parks and Maintenance for making this happen. There is also a new sidewalk going in on Graham Avenue to alleviate walking in the street.

Sept 29, 2018: Anise swallowtail visits Gibbs.

August 11, 2018: A couple of the Cooper’s Hawks that were hatched this summer were playing today. Leslie took a video of them. Enjoy. :)

July 25, 2018: Jennie Breeze took a pic of Leslie at the Park and it’s being exhibited at Bowers! Congrats, Jennie!

May 27, 2018: John sent Leslie this: Funny thing happened while droning in the park… Gibbs Park 5/27. Caught the rat bastard! Then played with it like a cat does.

April 1, 2018: Happy Easter (and April Fools lol!)! Spring has sprung at Gibbs Park. Enjoy!

March 28, 2018: Matt Hanlon made a moving documentary tribute to the Huntington Beach Tree Society volunteers. Thanks, Matt! You can view it here:

Saving Green – The Story of a City’s Parks // Feature Documentary from Matt Hanlon on Vimeo.

December 3, 2017. We’ve been seeing butterflies in Gibbs Park, but the best monarch clusters so far have been at Central Park. Here are some clusters that Leslie took. Enjoy!

November 1, 2017: Molly Lambert built a tepee in Gibbs Park. :)

October 25, 2017: The monarchs have arrived at Gibbs Park! Due to the hot weather, they are not exhibiting normal clustering behavior. This picture was taken last night about 6 pm.

Sept 3, 2017: John Runyard wrote: Every weekend, Diesel Dog comes to Gibbs Park and goes straight for Doug, our #2 volunteer waterer. Diesel goes nuts around water. Thanks to Peter Anninos for the pic!

August 20, 2017: Thank you to Eagle Scout Vinh Nguyen and Scout Troop 2003 for sanding and painting the benches and tables at Gibbs Park. Looks fantastic!

July 4, 2017: Happy July 4th! Those owl parents are doing a wonderful job!

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June 8, 2017: There are the 3 baby owls and 2 adults at the Park at dusk today. Getting bigger!

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June 2017: We have at least 3 baby owls with an adult owl at the Park. Look up in the trees to see if you can spot them.

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May 2017: Another great drone video from John Runyard. Thanks John!

April 2017: Great Caterpillar video from Old Pirate.

March 2017: Great article about our local Monarch butterflies, Leslie, Gibbs Park, and more butterfly rescuers from Orange Coast Magazine here.

March 2017: Thanks for the Garage Sale benefiting the 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. :)

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. :) 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. :)


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. :) 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. :D

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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: