Stoneridge Creek residents are doing their part to contribute to the planet’s health. And they’re doing it one monarch butterfly at a time.

Since 1980, an estimated one billion monarch butterflies have been lost. Due to these staggering numbers, they have been labeled an endangered species in the United States.

In November 2022, the Stoneridge Creek Garden Committee voted to remove existing shrubbery in the East Garden of the Bay Area senior living community. They replaced it with native milkweed plants, hoping to increase the monarch population. The host plant is the only food source for this iconic orange and black species.

The life cycle includes the encouragement of the laying of eggs by the butterflies. Seeds were cold stratified in February, and seedlings were started in small peat pots. Eventually, they were transplanted into the monarch habitat in April.

It took a while before one began to see monarch caterpillars, then chrysalis, and finally, in October, the emergence of a butterfly.

Resident James Yeh caught the transformation through photographs. “The whole process has been amazing to watch and film,” said Yeh.

Resident Corrie Grove leads the Garden Committee at the Pleasanton retirement community. He says his neighbors have flocked to the garden to catch glimpses of the number of monarch butterflies and hope to see them emerge from their cocoons.

“Interestingly, we planted the milkweed, and people said they would come, and sure enough, one day I was here with somebody else, and all of a sudden, there’s a butterfly,” said Corrie Grove during an interview with NBC Bay Area, reporter Vianey Arana.

About a dozen monarch butterflies were created, and the group hopes to continue their efforts for years.

The milkweed is one of many varieties of plants found in the Stoneridge Creek garden. The group of older adults has planted a wide range of vegetables and fruit. In one garden alone, the community has a rare fruit orchard with more than 70 varieties on 37 trees.

Eighty residents are a part of the Garden Committee. Many are experienced gardeners, while others enjoy learning a new hobby. All residents of the community are invited to join. Research shows that programs like gardening offer social benefits and could help improve seniors’ memory, hearing, and overall well-being.

Grow at Stoneridge Creek

Stoneridge Creek has become a place where hundreds of Bay Area seniors have grown to explore new pastimes while enjoying old passions.

If you or a loved one are considering moving to a senior living community, explore the many benefits of Stoneridge Creek. With maintenance-free living, you can spend extra time tending your garden and meeting new friends. Our Life Plan community offers a wide array of amenities and social activities, all while offering peace of mind for your future. If you would like to tour our community, including our lovely garden, call us at (866) 561-0496 or email us at info@stoneridgecreek.com. We look forward to seeing how our community can help you grow.