Milkweed to Monarch project? Learn all about it here

Monarch-Butterfly-680x340By Tracy Davis
Identity Committee Chairwoman

Why the monarch? We see butterflies everywhere.

The plight of the monarch butterflies was brought up at our Identity and Beautification meetings in November 2015, inspired by articles appearing in the Orange County Register and The Press-Enterprise the week before.

Monarch caterpillars chomp away on native milkweed.

Monarch caterpillars chomp away on native milkweed.

Milkweed is the preferred plant of monarch caterpillars which hatch from eggs laid on the milkweed plants by mama monarchs. One of the reasons the monarchs are in decline is because native milkweed is becoming harder for them to find.

The 90 percent decline in the monarch population for the last 10 years was all we needed to know to start our project. Pulling both committees into the solution, I took the lead because of my love and fascination for insects, knowing full well it would be a huge project.


A month later, lo and behold my friend Nancy Reiter, who is Branch Manager at El Cerrito Public Library, had seen the same article and was looking into a Books2Action grant for books on the monarch subject. She contacted me to see if the We Are Temescal Valley group would sign off as a partner in the project, helping secure the grant. We got together for a committee planning session and worked with the Temescal Heritage Foundation to secure the grant as partners.

This set the ball rolling to include the Sycamore Creek Interpretive Center — a Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District (RCRCD) nature center located in the heart of Sycamore Creek. They, too, were planning a conservation project for native milkweed.

7 Oaks Nursery and The Acorn Cap, both located in Temescal Valley, sell native milkweed.

7 Oaks Nursery and The Acorn Cap, both located in Temescal Valley, sell native milkweed.

Now came our dilemma — no known local nurseries grew the native milkweed or had sources. We needed to convince our local 7 Oaks Nursery to grow the native milkweed for the project. Bringing all the facts and known sources for seeds to 7 Oaks, it took about a month to convince them it was good for the nursery and the monarchs.

In checking the seed sources, a native nursery popped up — The Acorn Cap, a nursery that specialized in California natives. It was located in Horsethief Canyon Ranch but had not yet changed its postal designation to Temescal Valley. By the end of January, we had not one but two local nurseries growing milkweed for us and the caterpillars!

Educating the people of Temescal Valley would take time. We began with the homeowners’ associations. I attended nearly all of the HOA board meetings in Temescal Valley to share the need to use native milkweed rather than other variations to bring back the monarch.

GOOD MILKWEED: Monarchs are drawn to this native milkweed -- Asclepias fascicularis, and will lay eggs on it. The caterpillars that hatch will eat the milkweed, stripping it bare and leaving nothing but sticks. It goes dormant but grows back each year.

GOOD MILKWEED: Monarchs are drawn to this native milkweed — Asclepias fascicularis, and will lay eggs on it. The caterpillars that hatch will eat the milkweed, stripping it bare and leaving nothing but sticks. It goes dormant but grows back each year.


Native milkweed dies back in the winter forcing the monarchs to migrate but tropical milkweed (Asclepias Curassavica), grows year-round in our mild climate. Monarchs will not migrate where tropical milkweed is planted because it provides a winter food source for the caterpillars. Winter breeding is unwanted in our area because it exposes the butterflies to the OE  (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha), parasite. This parasite either kills or weakens the caterpillars and adults, making their migration north each spring an impossible challenge in unhealthy monarchs. Planting native milkweed encourages proper seasonal migration and reduces the incidence of parasitic exposure. (Native versus Tropical? Learn more HERE)

Bottom line is that the monarchs’ milkweed habitat is dramatically reduced due to human population increases, and pesticide and herbicide use in farming and along roadsides.

BAD MILKWEED: Tropical milkweed stays green year-round and has colorful flowers -- usually red, orange and yellow. Because milkweed caterpillars can constantly feed on it, the monarchs will not migrate which leaves them exposed to a parasite.

BAD MILKWEED: Tropical milkweed stays green year-round and has colorful flowers — usually red, orange and yellow. Because milkweed caterpillars can constantly feed on it, the monarchs will not migrate which leaves them exposed to a parasite.

In researching the monarchs, I found that many sites have been logging habitat, migration and population of the butterflies. Monarch Watch stands out as a good resource for plants around the nation, but the Xerces Society lists the natives best for our area, also giving us a guide to create the proper habitat for the monarch and other pollinators.  (Click HERE for milkweed list.)

HOAs and residents can add to their gardens to create more habitat for the monarchs easily with our local nurseries growing native narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), for the project.

We also need nectar sources to feed the adults. The nectar list is long, but look for flowers that monarchs can rest on while sipping, including composite heads, like sunflower, daisy or aster types, or clusters of flowers like lantana, verbena and pentas. Nectar sources do not have to be native, but choose drought-tolerant for our area. (Click HERE for native pollinator list.)

We hope that as more and more Temescal Valley folks decide to plant native milkweed and nectar plants to entice monarchs to their gardens that they will pay the $16 necessary to register their habitat with the Monarch Waystation Program. The Waystation registry could get our project national attention — so if you decide to register your habitat, please be sure to use Temescal Valley as your address! (Click HERE for the registration form.)


In trying to get the word out about the Milkweed to Monarch project we integrated Monarchs as a theme into our local events. The We Are Temescal Valley Identity Committee hosted the Temescal Valley Scavenger Hunt which had a monarch theme. The HOAs were encouraged to participate at the 15 stations around the valley. The main prize was a narrowleaf milkweed, with many other prizes donated by our local businesses.

Horsethief Canyon Ranch also had a Native Plant Sale. Hosted by Bob Hafner, chairman of the Beautification Committee and The Acorn Cap, the sale encouraged residents of the valley to plant native milkweed. The Temescal Valley Community Faire also adopted the theme of Monarchs and Melons for the 16th annual event held in May.

Our Milkweed to Monarch project is growing. We’re encouraged by our partnership with community nurseries and collaboration with educational organizations. Our success will make Temescal Valley the “Home of the Monarch!”


Here are links to help children better understand how truly incredible the monarch butterfly is — fun facts and things to do:
Journey North for Kids
Raising Monarch Butterflies
Make Felt Monarch Butterfly Wings
A Magical Metamorphosis

Thank you for your participation in this project and thanks also to:

7oaks_LOGO7 OAKS NURSERY, 21501 Temescal Canyon Road, Temescal Valley, 951-277-2927. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week. On Facebook

Acorn cap_logoTHE ACORN CAP, California Native Nursery, Temescal Valley, 951-245-4764. On Facebook
library_logoEL CERRITO PUBLIC LIBRARY, 7581 Rudell Road, Corona, 951- 270-5012. Open 3-7 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. On Facebook

center_logoSYCAMORE CREEK INTERPRETIVE CENTER (RCRCD), 11875 Indian Truck Trail, Temescal Valley, 951-515-2097. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Wednesday. On Facebook

Dangerous street condition? Where is it?

SLOWING DOWN TRAFFIC: County Road Engineer Lawrence Tai had two portable digital radar signs placed on Knabe Road after the Public Safety Committee meeting in May. The signs will be moved to other busy Temescal valley streets in the weeks ahead.

SLOWING DOWN TRAFFIC: County Road Engineer Lawrence Tai had two portable digital radar signs placed on Knabe Road after the Public Safety Committee meeting in May. The signs will be moved to other busy Temescal valley streets in the weeks ahead.

HAVE YOU SEEN DANGEROUS ROAD CONDITIONS such as blind corners, lack of left turn lanes or the need for stop signs? Send what you’ve seen and possible suggestions on how the problem can be fixed to Public Safety Committee Chairman John Watson at: Include the community in which the street is located, the problem, your name and how to reach you if necessary. A list is being compiled and all suggestions will be reviewed by the county.

The We Are Temescal Valley Public Safety Committee meeting in May focused on road safety in two areas – on surface streets and at the three schools located here.

Addressing the schools issue was CHP Community Service Officer Nate Jimerson who, along with other duties, is responsible for enforcing traffic laws at 24 schools within his CHP region. New to the position, Jimerson said he had visited the Todd and Temescal Valley elementary school campuses and hoped to patrol at Luiseno School prior to summer dismissal.

He said while the “dropping off” and “picking up” situations at the schools are less than optimal, parents are not justified in double parking, blocking driveways and parking in red zones. “Offenders will be cited,” Jimerson said.

Committee members commended Jimerson for fighting freeway traffic to attend the evening meeting on his day off.

Also attending the meeting was Renee Martin, a valley resident and the crossing guard at TVES. She said the flagrant violations by parents amaze her and she often worries about student safety. “Some people park in the red zones at both ends of the crosswalk and it’s the same parents doing it repeatedly.”

She said there are parents who will not follow her whistle commands when to cross and not cross the street. “I had the kids waiting to cross to let cars by and one dad grabbed his kid’s hand and said, ‘Let’s go.’ I was so proud of that little boy when he told his father, ‘No Dad, we can’t go until the guard says it’s safe.’ ”

Both Jimerson and Martin felt the best way to reach the parents about street safety was through their children. The Public Safety Committee, working with the CHP, will suggest to school administrators the possibility of street safety assemblies in the new school year.

Riverside County Road Engineer Lawrence Tai spoke about the public roadways in Temescal Valley. Tai said he was familiar with the county-maintained streets and knew of the larger traffic issues, i.e. Temescal Canyon Road, but wasn’t aware of all the individual issues within each of the neighborhoods. “I am aware, though, of concerns about speeding on surface streets.”

He described how speed limits are determined – not a simple process, and what it takes to get a new stop sign or traffic signal – also not a simple process but doable if warranted. What isn’t particularly doable are speed bumps, especially on arterials such as Knabe, Campbell Ranch, De Palma and Horsethief Canyon roads, and Trilogy Parkway.

“Speed bumps are hard on public safety vehicles such as fire engines rushing to emergency calls, as well as on the personnel inside the vehicles,” Tai said.

Several people at the meeting cited specific safety issues on neighborhood streets – blind corners, lack of left turn lanes, the need for stop signs. Tai said the county will investigate all concerns and possible solutions, but folks must let the county know where the problems are.

When asked, Tai said the county could install portable radar speed signs letting motorists know the speed at which they are driving. He said the digital displays are a good deterrent in slowing down speeders. Tai had two signs placed on Knabe Road and they will be moved to other streets where speeding is a problem.

Tai was impressed by the number of HOAs and neighborhoods represented by members of the Public Safety Committee, and said if the group could compile a list of concerns, he would look into all issues raised.

Send suggestions about street safety to Public Safety Committee Chairman John Watson at: Include the community in which the street is located, the problem, your name and how to reach you if necessary.

Committee members discussed launching a petition drive for the state to increase the number of CHP officers along the 1-15 Corridor. The committee also will create a campaign aimed at slowing down motorists on Temescal Valley streets.

If you would like to be notified of upcoming Public Safety Committee meetings, email your request to Watson.

SNOW? It sure did!

Driving down Horsethief Canyon Road toward Temescal Mountains on east side of I-15. ( photo)

Driving down Horsethief Canyon Road toward Temescal Mountains on east side of I-15. ( photo)

It was predicted for more than a week, but when Temescal Valley residents awoke New Year’s Eve morning, we were not sufficiently prepared for the amazing sight that greeted us. The hillsides and mountains on both sides of the valley were cloaked in white, with a whole bunch of the wet, wonderful stuff deposited in the Horsethief Canyon Ranch community.

Here are few photos and if you’d like to add yours to this slide show, email them to Please include your name and where the photo was taken.

Here’s where to see holiday lights



While this certainly is not a complete list of all the Temescal Valley homes aglow — dazzling and twinkling with holiday lights, it’s a good place to start. If you want to add your home to this list, email us at Please include the address and the community. (Horsethief Canyon Ranch will be added soon!)


23235 Crocus Court — First Place Grand Prize
9123 Blue Flag St. — Second Place Grand Prize
23326 Tulip Court — First Place Lighting
23329 Tulip Court — Second Place Lighting
8871 Crest View Drive — First Place Animation
9128 Plume Grass Street — Second Place Animation



23341 Tulip Court
23315 Daisy Drive
8774 Daffodil Drive8774 Daffodil Drive
22776 Canyon View Drive
22895 Canyon View Drive
22609 White Sage Street
9075 Blue Flag Street
8834 Lemonwood Drive




24983 Cliffrose St.
11030 Clover Circle
25486 Foxglove Lane
25298 Noble Canyon St.
25718 Woods Court

11178 Evergreen Loop
25207 Forest St.
25377 Grandfir Court
25542 Hyacinth St.
11336 Magnolia St.
25362 Noble Canyon St.
25121 Pacific Crest St.
25063 Pine Mountain Terrace
1213 Riveroak St.
11763 Silver Birch Road
11079 Sweetgum St.
25713 Sunflower Lane


2331 Camino Terraza Road
8619 Camino Zapote Road
8649 Calle Canon Road




9055 Fallbrook Canyon Drive
9480 Stone Canyon Drive
9343 Stone Canyon Drive


(Note: Homeowner’s association  chose not to give addresses of winners, but instead provided names of winning streets)

Basswood Drive
Rapid Falls Court
Palomino Creek Drive
MysticaSprings Drive
Crystal Springs Drive 

Over 1 million lights on 200 displays!tf pre christmas web graphic 2014


Many sports choices for local kids

Little LeagueA few local parents, via the We Are Temescal Valley Facebook page, have asked about the availability of youth sports in our community – basketball in particular. But first, a little background on kids’ sports leagues.

Temescal Valley is a fairly new community with many of its homes built after 2000. When national and regional sports organizations are asked to establish a local league, they question how many youngsters will participate, the availability of playing venues and the willingness of parents to be actively involved in creating a board of directors and raising funds to support the league.

Older communities such as Corona and Lake Elsinore have had decades to get those questions answered, and that’s why they have a greater array of youth sports played on their local turf, with boundaries that encompass the Temescal Valley area.

Temescal Valley Little League is an organized youth sport that actually plays its games in Temescal Valley. Years ago – before the local housing boom – it was known as Horsethief Canyon Little League. As the Temescal Valley grew, so did the league. Many parents were willing to take an active role (think of the untold hours dedicated to TVLL by President Greg May, his board, and all the managers and coaches, plus team moms!)

So – bottom line – if you want a youth sport league here, you and other parents need to organize and recruit volunteers to make it happen. In the meantime, here’s a list of programs available to Temescal Valley residents – the majority not located here.


  • The BOYS & GIRLS YOUTH BASKETBALL program offered by the Corona Recreation Services Department is a pretty good deal. It’s for kids 6 to 14 years old, runs October to February and costs $70 if you do not reside within the Corona city limits. (We don’t). The cost to Corona residents is $60 – so why $10 more for nonresidents?

The facility for city-sponsored sports programs (gymnasium, city park, pool or community center), and the cost to build and maintain the facility is paid for by the city’s taxpayers. Most all cities have a policy that requires non-residents to pay more because they do not pay city taxes.

  • For Horsethief Canyon Ranch residents, the LAKE ELSINORE RECREATION DEPARTMENT also offers a youth basketball program similar to the one offered by Corona.
  • NATIONAL JUNIOR BASKETBALL has a Corona/Norco chapter for youth 1st grade through 12th, and fall leagues begin in November. Games are played at gyms in Corona and Norco.
  • If you’re fortunate to live in a community with a homeowner’s association that maintains a full basketball court, have you considered reaching out to other parents to form a couple of local teams? Approach your HOA with the proposition and use the community website or Facebook page to enlist support from other parents. Your HOA probably can do an email blast to solicit parent volunteers and youngsters who want to play.


Another resident on our Facebook page wanted to know if there were swim team programs available. There are a few – again, not in Temescal Valley but within driving distance.

  • The CORONA CROCS AQUATICS TEAM is for all ages and abilities – being a USA Swimming team, the goal is to eventually produce swimmers of US Olympic Team caliber. The teams practice year-round at pools located in Corona.
  • MESA AQUATICS is a year-round competitive swim program for ages 5 and older. Also a USA Swimming team, members come from Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Riverside, Corona and Hemet. The home pool is at Elsinore High School, off the I-15 freeway in Wildomar.


  • As stated earlier, TEMESCAL VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE is our sole youth sports organization that plays all games within Temescal Valley. TVLL has a FALL BALL program which now is accepting registrations.


  • HORSETHIEF CANYON SOCCER ASSOCIATION, which is local to Temescal Valley, follows guidelines set forth by the California Youth Soccer Association and United States Youth Soccer. While games are played on two fields in Horsethief Canyon Ranch, other games are played on fields in the communities of Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Corona and points beyond. Many Temescal Valley families participate in this program.
  • Some local residents have kids playing in AYSO REGION 37 which serves Corona/Norco. One Montecito Ranch mom, tired of driving to fields in those areas, is checking into what it would take to create an American Youth Soccer Organization league for Temescal Valley.
  • UNITED PREMIER YOUTH SOCCER LEAGUE, out of Lake Elsinore, and CORONA KINGS, who use Deleo Regional Sports Park as their home field, also attract Temescal Valley residents. These leagues are for the avid soccer fan – lots of travel involved.


  • ICETOWN, on Magnolia Avenue in Riverside, offers a one-time free lesson weekly for youngsters who have never skated. The lesson introduces kids 3 years and older to ICE HOCKEY and FIGURE SKATING. Each lesson is 30 minutes and registration is not required. Parents of kids who want to stick with the sport can pay for additional group or private lessons. When they become proficient on ice, hockey skaters graduate to in-house programs and travel teams; figure skaters begin competition. 

If it’s not so much organized youth sports you’re looking for, but want athletic activities for the kids that provide socialization with other children about the same age, AND you want to stay in Temescal Valley, consider the following:


  • TEMESCAL DRIVING RANGE, at the corner of Temescal Canyon and Dawson Canyon roads, offers group golf lessons for youngsters every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Age range is “about 5 to 11-ish,” and each session cost $10. There’s no need to sign up; just show up. 951-277-0400,


  • TOP MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING, at 9064 Pulsar Court, Suite C, offers programs for all ages in Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 951-277-9099


  • The 100 MILE CLUB provides students the opportunity to run or walk 100 miles at school during the school year. It’s a great way for your children to meet new friends while they exercise. Registration fee is $10 which covers the cost of a T-shirt, bracelet and medal. Kids can still run/walk if they don’t pay the fee, but will not receive the goodies nor materials provided for reaching 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-mile goals. Local schools sent home the registration flier this week.

There are several youth sports programs available to Valley residents – it just depends on how much you’re willing to pay and how far you’re willing to travel. As the Valley grows, so will its local sports offerings.

If you know of other programs to add to this list, post your comment below or on the We Are Temescal Valley Facebook page.

FIRE GALLERY: Canyon gets wake up call

Wildfire in Dawson Canyon


Dawson Canyon and Spanish Hills residents received a scare this morning when a wildfire burned in neighboring hills along Dawson Canyon Road, just south of the El Sobrante Landfill.

Sixty-eight firefighters from seven engine companies, plus air support, quickly contained the four-acre blaze that was reported at 10:01 a.m. today. Although close by, no structures were damaged and no injuries were reported as firefighters contained the blaze at 10:44 a.m.

Air support included two water-dropping helicopters, which refilled at Lake Mathews, and two fixed-wing tankers that dropped fire retardant.

Firefighters were assisted by the slow rate of burn and mild shifting winds that blew the fire  back over area already burned.

While contained at 10:44 a.m., firefighters were still in the area at 12:30 p.m. dousing hot spots. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Responding engine companies included Sycamore Creek Station 64, Home Gardens Station 13, French Valley Station 83, Cal Fire Riverside and Corona Station 7.



Flood control budget workshop set

Temescal Canyon Road becomes a muddy, flooded and dangerous roadway after a heavy rain.

Temescal Canyon Road becomes a muddy, flooded and dangerous roadway after a heavy rain.

Area residents who have lived here for any length of time know Temescal Valley is subject to flooding during particularly heavy rains. (Need a reminder? HERE is a photo gallery of runoff and flooding during the storm early last month.)

The Valley is located within Zone 2 of the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, the agency responsible for deciding how flood control funds will be used. Also included in Zone 2 are the cities of Corona, Norco and Eastvale.

Zone 2 commissioners will hold a work session at 2 p.m. Monday, April 14 to discuss the budgeting of projects for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The workshop will be at 5464 West Homecoming Circle in Eastvale and is open to the public.


SEC targets Trilogy golf course owner

World Capital Market Inc., the company that owns Glen Ivy Golf Club — the golf course at Trilogy, has been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of operating a worldwide pyramid scheme.

In a March 28 statement, the SEC reported that the company’s assets have been frozen, a temporary receiver has been appointed and that a court hearing is scheduled April 10.

The SEC alleges, “that three entities collectively operating under the business names WCM and WCM777 are posing as multi-level marketing companies in the business of selling third-party cloud computing services, which can include website hosting, data storage, and software support. The entities are based in California and Hong Kong and controlled by “Phil” Ming Xu, who is a resident of Temple City, California.”

The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges, “WCM and WCM777 have raised more than $65 million since March 2013 by falsely promising tens of thousands of investors that the return on investment in the cloud services venture would be 100 percent or more in 100 days. Investors were told they would receive ‘points’ for making investments or enrolling other investors. The points would be convertible into equity in initial public offerings of high-tech companies their money would help launch. However, rather than building out cloud services or incubating high-tech companies, Xu and the WCM entities used investor funds to make Ponzi payments of purported investment  returns to some investors.  They also spent investor money to purchase golf courses and other U.S.-based properties among other unauthorized expenditures.” (Read the entire SEC report HERE)

World Capital Market Inc. purchased the Trilogy course last August for a reported $6.5 million.  A month later the company bought Links at Summerly, the only golf course in Lake Elsinoire, at an undisclosed price.

The charges by the SEC against World Capital Market Inc. should allay the months-long speculation that WCM was negotiating to purchase Glen Ivy Hot Springs owned by Emissaries of Divine Light, a global spiritual network. Emissaries owns the property, and the retreat and conference center, as well as the spa. The organization announced last year that it was moving its California operation to Colorado. (Read the announcement HERE)

As of today, Glen Ivy Golf Club remains open. This report will be updated as new developments occur.


PHOTOS: Wet, wild and welcomed

Here are a few photos we shot Saturday on a Temescal Valley tour to assess storm damage. Thankfully, we found the Valley pretty much intact, if not a little wetter than usual. Did you take photos? You can share them here. Email pictures to There’s no need to include your name unless you don’t mind us using it, but a description of the photo and the location would be helpful.