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South Coast City Adds Key Chunk Of New Open Space

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(City of Goleta photo)
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Monarch butterflies in Goleta preserve

A South Coast city has used some grants to buy a small but key chunk of land to keep it as permanent open space, and habitat for rare monarch butterflies.

The City of Goleta purchased a third of an acre parcel on the south end of Ellwood Beach Drive for just under $100,000. Half of the money came from Santa Barbara County’s Coastal Enhancement Fund, as compensation for oil and gas projects. The other half came from a State Parks grant.

The land is adjacent to the Sperling Preserve on Ellwood Mesa, and aside from butterfly habitat, it includes eucalyptus groves, willow woodlands, and riparian habitat.

Goleta officials say they’ve now saved five parcels from a list of 17 they are trying to preserve.