The Texas Butterfly Ranch is proud to present the 2018 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, three fantastic days of science, education, art and celebration, October 19 – 21.

The Festival takes place during peak Monarch migration season in San Antonio, October 19 -21, when migrating monarch butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains funnel through Texas on their way to Mexico to roost for the winter.

It’s a story of Butterflies without Borders, and one we celebrate. How did it go? Read the recap.

We extend special thanks to our Keystone Sponsors, The PearlHEBSan Antonio River Authority, the John and Florence Newman Foundation and the Rivard Report for their support in making the third 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.  Curious about sponsorship or partnering? Send us a message. Here’s a recap of last year’s Festival.

Friday, October 19 

BUTTERFLIES WITHOUT BORDERS FORUM: the Monarch Migration and our Changing Climate

Pearl Stable 

11:30 – 1:30 PM 
Tickets on sale here.

Join us for a lively and timely discussion with a broad range of panelists. We’ll explore the intersections and consequences of politics and pollinators, climate change and border walls, native plants and pesticides. Our panel:

Moderated by award-winning journalist and cofounder of the Rivard Report, Robert Rivard.

For more information and speaker bios, read this post. Tickets available here.


Don’t miss the high noon butterfly release Sunday, October 21, 2018 at Pearl Park. Photo by Matt Buikema


MONARCHS: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly

Southwest School of Art
October 4, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Public Opening: Thursday, October 4,
Southwest School of Art 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Blue Star Contemporary 7:00 – 9:00 pm
$5 admission

This show runs from October 4 through January at two of San Antonio’s most active art institutions–the Southwest School of Art and the Blue Star Contemporary. During Festival week, why not migrate over to either venue to enjoy a timely art show that uses monarch butterflies as a reference? All artists in the show either currently live in, or come from, the direct migratory path of monarch butterflies, the famous IH-35 pollinator corridor that reaches from Canada to Mexico.

Underwritten by the Southwest School of Art



HOLY MEZCAL, BATMAN! Bats, booze, wildlife acoustics and beautiful photography at Confluence Park

Confluence Park 
6:30 – 8 PM
FREE to the public, but space will be limited. Please help us gather a head-count for the event by registering here.

Did you know that bats pollinate agave, which makes our tequila and mezcal possible? Yep.

Our friends at the Commission on National Biodiversity in Mexico will share The Rhythm of the Planet, a spectacular photography collection of migratory pollinators like bats, birds, whales and butterflies in an indoor/outdoor art show that will highlight the amazing creatures that make one of every three bites of our food possible.

Fran Hutchins of Bat Conservation International will offer a bat talk and wildlife acoustic tour and William Scanlan of Heavy Metl, one of the top importers of artisanal mezcal in the country will explain the process of producing mezcal.

Join us in celebrating these ecosystem workers with sips of mezcal. CHEERS!

Underwritten by the Commission on National Biodiversity of Mexico, the San Antonio River Foundation and San Antonio River Authority 

Saturday, October 20

TEACHER WORKSHOP Monitoring Monarchs: A Teacher Workshop on the San Antonio Rive

9 AM – 12 PM

New location update: San Antonio River Authority, 100 E. Guenther

FREE to teachers, but space will be limited.
Register here.

Karen Oberhauser, founder of Monarch Joint Venture and Director of the Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin, will lead a training workshop that will teach educators how to use monarchs in the classroom. Oberhauser, one of the top monarch butterfly scientists in the country, is founder of Monarch Joint Venture, one of the premier monarch butterfly and pollinator conservation organizations in the country.

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

Teachers learn to tag Monarchs. Photo by San Antonio River Authority


TEACHER WORKSHOP Mariposas Sin Fronteras: Bilingual Education Citizen Science Training for Teachers
Bonham Elementary School,  925 S. St. Mary’s, San Antonio, TX
9 AM – 12 noon

FREE to teachers, but space will be limited.
Register here.

Monarch butterflies in Michoacan

This training for bilingual educators will be led by Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón, Monarch Outreach Coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation. Quiñonez-Piñon, a forest ecologist, will work with bilingual educators to demonstrate the myriad ways to tap monarch butterflies and their migration as a teaching mechanism in the classroom. Teachers will become acquainted with the various bilingual resources available.


Underwritten by the National Wildlife Federation





Fried Green Tomatoes with Tomato Hornworms
YUM! Fried green tomatoes topped with Tomato Hornworms, from the Eat A Bug Cookbook

San Antonio Botanical Garden

555 Funston Place
10 AM – 2 PM

Caterpillar canapes, anyone?

Join the San Antonio Botanical Garden and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for an entomophagy expedition and learn about the eating of insects as food. Small bite insect-based food samples and family activities—including Cricket Races, Painting with Cochineal, and Face Painting—will be FREE with admission.

For those who want to sink their teeth into four chef demonstrated recipes featuring creepy crawlers, two ticketed events will take place at 10:30 AM and 12 PM–$25 per adult, $10 per child.

Ticketed program features insect eating evangelist Robert Nathan Allen, founder of Little Herds, entomologist Molly Keck and horticulturist David Rodriguez, both of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service.

Menu forthcoming, but trust it will be memorable and healthy. Bring the kids!

Register here for 10AM ticketed session with all-day admission
Register here for 12PM ticketed session with all day admission

Underwritten by the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, San Antonio Water System, and Andeavor.


Sunday, October 21

The Pearl 
10:00 AM – 2 PM FREE

Get your wings on for our third annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival!

It takes flight at the Pearl with a People for Pollinators Parade, monarch butterfly tagging demos, educational booths and activities for the whole family. The highlight: a high noon butterfly release at Pearl Park. Five of the hundreds of butterflies tagged at our Festival last year made the successful trek to Mexico and were recovered on the forest floor there in March of 2018.

Don’t miss this special day of celebration and citizen science that unfolds during peak monarch butterfly migration season in our very own “Texas Funnel.”

10 AM People for Pollinators Parade

10 AM – 2 PM One-on-one How to Tag a Monarch Butterfly tagging demonstrations by trained docents

10:30 AM  and 12:30 PM  300for300: Plant a Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Garden at Pearl Studio

The Gardening Volunteers of South Texas will lead two one-hour tutorials on planning and planting a butterfly and pollinator habitat. The presentation will focus on the importance of the Monarch butterfly, the plants that provide the best nectar or larvae food sources, and a step-by-step description of how to plant a Monarch garden. Registration required.

One-hour workshop will repeat twice. FEE: $10  Register here.

Workshop sponsored by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas and San Antonio Water System


2017 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival archive

Special thanks to our sponsors!



























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Green Haven Industries, Inc.                        Katy and Ted Flato











Bandera Bees * Bat Conservation International * Bexar County Master Gardeners * Bridge Projects * CRIT San Antonio * Douglass King Seeds * Gardening Volunteers of South Texas * Gardopia Gardens * Little Herds * Monarch Joint Venture * National Wildlife Federation * National Charity League Mariposa Chapter * The Nectar Bar * Rainbow Gardens Nursery * San Antonio Botanical Garden * San Antonio Natural Areas * San Antonio Zoo * Shades of Green Nursery * University of Texas at San Antonio * Witte Museum