A Natural Playground

Butterfly Garden & Playscape

Exploring, climbing, and jumping – all within a natural playground. The nature center’s playscape, created by Latter Day Saints volunteers on their Helping Hands Day in 2010, includes sections of tree trunks and large river rocks to climb, a large log to practice balance, flat slices of wood from local trees for stepping or jumping and a soft woodchip groundcover in case of slips or falls. It’s location beside the picnic benches makes it ideal for families wishing to rest or have a lunch. And the open field beyond offers fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. This play feature at the nature center is so loved by young children and older kids alike, that it is rare to see the playscape empty!

Flutter-by Butterflies!

Added to our grounds in 1996, the lovely Butterfly Garden showcases a variety of native, drought-tolerant plants and flowers that attract butterflies as well as other pollinators. Pollinators are critical for healthy ecosystems . They are essential for plant reproduction, and create genetic diversity in the plants they pollinate. Diversity helps plants better handle changes in the environment. Best of all, pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies are beautiful and fascinating.

Strolling the paths through the garden, you’ll have a chance to see native bees and some of the common butterflies of the Sacramento region including:

  • Cabbage White
  • Painted Lady
  • California Hairstreak
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Common Buckeye
  • Red Admiral
  • Monarch
  • Western Tiger Swallowtail
  • Mourning Cloak
  • White-lined Sphinx Moth
  • Orange Sulfur
Monarch Butterfly

Garden Blooms in Spring and Early Summer

  • Bush Lupine – deer-resistant plant displays lovely light blue to violet flowers in dense clusters on a long stem above the leaves
  • Bush Monkey-Flower – flowers may be white, light orange or red on the plant which has sticky leaves (can bloom into fall)
  • Coyote Mint – bright lavender or pink flower burst from the hairy, mint-scented foliage
  • Foothill Penstemon – one inch violet flowers on three foot spikes that can bloom from April through August
  • Yarrow – small clusters of white flowers on long stems

Garden Blooms in Late Summer and Autumn

  • California Fuschia – a lovely red, tubular flower on a hearty, perennial plant
  • Goldenrod – small, beautiful yellow flowers on long, leafy stems
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