In Depth: Parks and butterflies

Segment One: Bob DeCastro guest hosts for Hal. Joining him is Cat Darst, an Assistant Field Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Ventura, and Antonio Sanchez, with the Santa Monica Mountains Fund. Darst tells us what’s going on with the Monarch Butterfly population. Those butterflies suffered a population dip that put it near endangered status but now they seem to be rebounding. Darst says that some of the factors impacting the Monarchs are  loss of their overwintering sites, loss of breeding habitat, changing climate and pesticide use.

Sanchez explains how their organization has been gathering native milkweed seeds to be grown in their garden.   Then the organization distributes those plants to local residents to allow Monarchs to lay their eggs on them, because the native milkweed is the only food the Monarch caterpillars eat.

Segment Two: Christina Angeles with the Regional Park and Open Space District joins Bob to talk about Measure A.  Measure A was approved by voters to create a parcel tax in order to provide continuing funding for L.A. County Parks.    Angeles tells us about how the funds are used, what projects are in the works, and how local communities need to get involved and let their leaders know where they want new parks, and how their local parks can be improved.

Segment Three: Mercy Santoro, the Deputy Director of L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation joins Bob to discuss the programs that are available at County parks this summer.

Santoro tells us that our parks are more than just greenspace, and that they encompass everything from boating to horseback riding to swimming and fishing.   She explains that there are lunch programs as well for kids and Seniors.  Santoro also tells us about the "Parks after Dark" program, which brings people from the community to the parks in the evening for everything from concerts to movies and games.   For more information, you can check out