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New Butterfly Pavilion Opens At Water Conservation Garden In El Cajon

The 150 species of butterflies in San Diego County certainly are lovely to look at, but they also perform a vital function by providing a major food source for humans and wildlife.

At the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon, a woman as colorful as the butterflies and water tolerant plants she's so passionate about, is on a mission to teach children and adults how to be good stewards of our natural resources. Pam Meisner — best known as Ms. Smarty Plants — says without bees and butterflies we wouldn't have food.

“Because they pollinate many, many of our crops and butterflies are a huge pollinator of corn,” she said.

Nine of the 150 butterfly species found in San Diego County are on the decline, primarily due to the loss of nectar sources such as weeds and plants. Meisner says butterflies also teach us about the health of our environment when we notice fewer of them.

“Their food supply is not available. Are the weather patterns changing, pesticides, deforestation, all of those things go into account,” she said.

And that's how the general public becomes knowledgeable through the study of these patterns. On April 5, the Water Conversation Garden will unveil its new Butterfly Pavilion, giving the public a chance to learn more about the life of butterflies and their importance to some of our most vital resources.

“And that means that you can have a beautiful garden and attract all these wonderful butterflies and save water our most precious resource,” Meisner said.

The Water Conservation Garden opened 15 years ago in response to our drought in the early 1990s. It’s open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it free to the public.

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