2017 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival October 20-22

The Texas Butterfly Ranch is proud to present the 2017 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, three fantastic days of science, education, art and celebration.

The  Festival takes place during peak Monarch migration week in San Antonio, October 20 -22, when all the Monarch butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains funnel through Texas on their way to Mexico to roost for the winter.

Our theme this year: Butterflies without Borders.

We extend special thanks to our Keystone Sponsors, The Pearl, HEB, San Antonio River Authority, the John and Florence Newman Foundation and the Rivard Report for their support in making the second annual Festival possible. Gracias!

The schedule below will continue to evolve, so check back for updates as we continue to add events and sponsors to the weekend.  Want to become a sponsor? Send us a message.

Friday, October 20th 

The Monarch Migration in our Changing Climate                                                      7PM- 9PM, Pearl Stable                                                                                           Tickets on sale here.                                      
Butterflies know no walls, but recent changes in our political landscape have created divisions throughout the Monarch butterfly corridor. Meanwhile, temperatures throughout the continent continue to escalate to unprecedented levels, year after year. What do these political and atmospheric changes suggest for pollinator advocacy, the Monarch butterfly migration in particular?

Climate Change and the Monarch Butterfly Migration

2016 Symposium: Climate Change and the Monarch Butterfly Migration. L-R, Monika Maeckle, Cuauhtémoc Saenz Romero, Cathy Downs, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

Join us for a lively and timely discussion with panelists from Mexico, the U.S and Canada that will explore the intersections and consequences of politics and pollinators, including

  • Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch,
  • Elizabeth Howard, founder of Journey North
  • Dr. Carlos Galindo Leal, Director of Scientific Communication at the National Commission of Biodiversity in Mexico  (CONABIO), and
  • Dr. Louise Hénault-Ethier, Director of Science, the David Suzuki Foundation, Montréal.

Moderated by Dan Goodgame.

For more information and speaker bios, see the Symposium page. Tickets on sale here.

Underwritten by the Mexican Cultural Institute and Trinity University and with special thanks to Larry Barocas, Strategic Management Group, Snowden Lane Partners, for underwriting our VIP reception.

Saturday, October 21st  

TEACHER WORKSHOP: The San Antonio River: A Crucial Pollinator Pitstop with Elizabeth Howard of Journey North 
San Antonio River Authority
10 AM – 12 PM, FREE to teachers, but space is limited
A teacher workshop that will teach educators how to use Monarchs in the classroom will be lead by the founder of Journey North, a wildlife migration tracking and citizen science initiative.

Underwritten by the San Antonio River Authority  and the Texas Butterfly Ranch

San Antonio Botanical Garden
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, FREE with admission 
Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch, will offer a brief talk on the life cycle and migration of Monarch butterflies, followed by a tour of the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s pollinator garden.

Underwritten by the San Antonio Botanical Garden and the Texas Butterfly Ranch

BUGS FOR LUNCH? with Louise Hénault-Ethier, entomophagy expert
Witte Museum
10:00 AM-noon, FREE with admission, but you must register

Cricket flour polenta

Cricket flour polenta topped with tempura fried veggies. YUM. Photo by Monika Maeckle

Entomophagy, the eating of insects as food by human beings, will be explored in this interesting session hosted by Hénault-Ethier, an expert in the subject, who joins us from Montreal.  The event will include a hands-on workshop where participants learn to build their own insect farm and get a chance to taste some bug-based food. FREE with Museum admission. Stay tuned for registration details.

Underwritten by The Witte Museum and the Texas Butterfly Ranch 



TREE OF LIFE made with Monarch butterflies by Luis Moro, artist                Yanaguana Garden
2 PM – 5PM, FREE

Artist Luis Moro will be in Central Games Plaza at Hemisfair’s Yanaguana Garden building a “Tree of Life” out of monarch butterflies! Children ages 4-12 will be able to engage in this art activity. For more information follow their event page here. 


Mexican Cultural Institute
5 PM – 8 PM, FREE 
Our partners at the Instituto will present the artwork of Mexico City based artist Luis Moro. Following the opening reception, there will be a talk with Ph.D. Carlos Galindo Leal, Director of Scientific Communication in the National Commission for the Use and Knowledge of Biodiversity at 6 PM. Rumors on the street: insects will be featured on the tapas menu. FREE to the public.

Sponsored by Mexican Cultural Institute 

Sunday, October 22
The Pearl

10:00 AM – 2 PM FREE
The second annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival takes flight at the Pearl with a People for Pollinators Parade led by the Pedaling Pollinators Butterfly Bikes, kid-friendly Monarch

Last year’s Festival drew 7,000 to the Pearl. Photo by Scott Ball, Rivard Report

butterfly tagging demos, education, food, music and fun.  Costumes encouraged! We will gather for the parade at 9:30 AM, so come ready as your favorite pollinator.  Don’t miss it!

ALSO: SAWS will be offering Monarch and Pollinator Gardens Seminars at Pearl Stable from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Please register here.

Sponsored by The Pearl, H-E-B, San Antonio River Authority, the John and Florence Newman Foundation, the Rivard Report, and Texas Butterfly Ranch. 

Underwriters: Greenhaven Industries, Trinity University, Mexican Cultural Institute, San Antonio Botanical Garden, and the Witte Museum.


Much gratitude to our amazing partners

Alamo Area Beekeepers, Bat Conservation International,  Bexar County Master Gardeners, Bridge, David Ladensohn Plowshare Mediation, David Suzuki Foundation, Earn A Bike Coop, Green Haven Landscaping, Green Spaces Alliance, H-E-B, Monarch Joint Venture, Little Herds, Mexican Cultural Institute, Monarch Watch, Native Plant Society, National Wildlife Federation, Nectar Bar, Rainbow Gardens, San Antonio Botanical Garden, San Antonio Natural Areas, San Antonio River Authority,  San Antonio Water Services, San Antonio Zoo, TBG Partners, Color Spot Nurseries, Texas Butterfly Ranch, Trinity University, UTSA, White Cloud Drones, The Witte.

 With special thanks to our enlightened elected officials

The Honorable Mayor Ron Nirenberg

City Councilman Roberto Treviño, District 1

City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, District 3

City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzalez, District 5

City Councilman Manuel Palaez, District 8

City Councilman Clayton Perry, District 10