Dust off your wings and mark your calendar for the sixth annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, LIVE and in-person. The FREE event takes place October 16 in a new location, Confluence Park in San Antonio, Texas.

After a year of virtual events due to the global pandemic, the month-long festival is making its in-person return with the main attraction at an award winning, publicly-owned facility devoted to educating the community about river ecosystems. Confluence Park sits at the intersection of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek, just south of downtown San Antonio.

“We are so fortunate that the San Antonio River Foundation stepped up as title sponsor,” said Monika Maeckle, director and founder of the Festival. “And I can’t imagine a more ideal location to stage our event than a community owned park that sits at the confluence of two rivers that represent the lifeblood of our city,” she added.

Educational programming and monarch butterflies will highlight this year’s Festival at Confluence Park, October 16. Courtesy photo

For its first four years, the popular Festival took place at the Pearl, the lauded mixed-use development near downtown San Antonio. In 2020, the fifth annual Festival pivoted to purely online, with more than 20 events occurring via Facebook, Zoom, YouTube and Vimeo. Like many other organizations, COVID “made us morph to the next phase,” said Maeckle. ”We are forever grateful for the years of support from the Pearl,” she added.

“It’s a perfect fit for us,” said Frates Seligson, executive director of the San Antonio River Foundation, which oversees the park.

In 2019, Confluence Park and its designers Lake Flato Architects won the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) prestigious Institute of Honor Architecture Award. The AIA called the park a “living laboratory” occupying the bank of the San Antonio River, designed to broaden its visitors’ understanding of south Texas ecotypes and the impact of urban development on local watersheds. The park’s pavilion, made of concrete “petals,” are actually rainwater catching devices that funnel water to surrounding native plant gardens.

Hands-on monarch butterfly tagging will be a feature of Festival day October 16 at Confluence Park. Photo by Drake White

Festival programming is in process, said Festival manager Ashley Bird, who is overseeing educational programming for the event. A preliminary Festival calendar page has been launched and will evolve as the Festival takes shape.

WHAT: 2021 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival

WHEN: Saturday, October 16, 2021, 10 AM

WHERE: Confluence Park, 310 W. Mitchell St., San Antonio, TX 78204


WHY: Raise awareness of understanding of the insect pollinators that make one out of every three bites of food possible–through the lens of the monarch butterfly migration. Each fall, monarch butterflies make a grand trek through Texas on their way to their high altitude winter roosts in the mountains west of Mexico City, just in time for Day of the Dead. In Mexico, the butterflies are often associated with the souls of lost loved ones. Festival participants will gain insight and understanding regarding migration, immigration, interconnectedness, climate change and sustainability.

The Texas Butterfly Ranch and the San Antonio River Foundation invite mission-aligned organizations and individuals that would like to participate as education partners to fill out this form.

Interested in sponsorship? Details here.

The Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival is a community wide collaboration of private sector companies, government and nonprofit agencies, and devoted volunteers organized by the Texas Butterfly Ranch. Our nonprofit partner is the San Antonio River Foundation.

The goals of the Festival are to raise awareness and appreciation of the insect pollinators that make one of every three bites of our food possible, underscore our inherent interconnectedness, encourage the use of native nectar and host plants in gardens and landscapes, and reinforce San Antonio’s strategic role in the monarchs’ annual migration as the nation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City.

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