Gibson Mariposa Park

4140 Gibson Road, El Monte, CA 

Gibson Mariposa Park

A community design


Gibson Mariposa Butterfly Park opened on March 10th, 2012, featuring a splash pad water playground, basketball courts, picnic areas, a small amphitheater, and restrooms; it is the 11th park in the city of El Monte, CA.

The Gibson Mariposa Butterfly Park began with a letter writing campaign by a group of Shirper Elementary School fifth-graders in 2003, urging city officials to convert a neglected space area in their neighborhood into a park.

The Outreach Campaign helped residents to emphasize the need and importance of a park. Mothers and children decorated the fence around the lot with paper butterflies and flowers. The community set up a steering committee, which branched out to form their own Mujeres de la Tierra, to discuss the update and progress of the park. The park was renamed Mariposa Park after the butterflies.

Our experienced team of professionals in architecture, community-based design, and community participation solicited ideas and opinions from the local community.  The area children participated in the design process and asked the park be based on a butterfly theme.



Our community-based design utilized input from area residents and city officials to determine the elements and themes incorporated in the park design featuring butterfly habitat and culturally relevant outdoor education areas and innovative play areas for children of all ages.  The park includes the following amenities:

Landscaping – grass playing field   
Indoor/outdoor classroom
Meeting room for Mujeres de la Tierra
Two basketball half-courts
Picnic areas w/ shade
Educational kiosk
Playhouse structure
Jog path
Water fountain

Natural Infrastructure

We specialize in the inclusion of native habitat and sustainable design principles. We consider water conservation, habitat restoration, water quality improvements, outdoor educational opportunities, and air quality in our planning.

Native Plant Palette
Gibson Mariposa Park walkway

Storm Water Management

Our landscape designers take special care in selecting native drought-tolerant plants that will help a city or agency reduce its water budget and learn about options for water conservation in public spaces.

The landscaping includes a watershed design for storm water collection and distribution throughout the park.


The use of native plants in public landscapes helps us to conserve water. These drought tolerant plants are suited to our climate.  By using these plants in the parks of the Emerald Necklace, we also protect biosdiversity and the cultural heritage of the area.  In each of the parks we have built we include interpretive signage that list the plants, animals and insects you may find in the park.

Key Partners helping create a greener world!

Key Partners: Amigos de los Rios with VCA Engineers, David Evans & Associates, SGM Design Labs, Randy Montgomery, and Capital Steel Fabricators 

Project Funders:  California State Parks, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Rivers and Mountain Conservancy and the City of El Monte