Monika Maeckle is a writer, Master Gardener, pollinator, Monarch tagger, and curious student of nature who loves the whole life cycle. She’s based in San Antonio.
With a long career in media and marketing, Maeckle is founder and writer for the Texas Butterfly Ranch website and founder and director of San Antonio’s Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival. With her husband, Robert Rivard, she also cofounded San Antonio’s independent nonprofit news site, the Rivard Report, which rebranded in 2020 as the San Antonio Report. She continues to serve as a contributor to the site, covering urban nature and commentary. She is working on a book for Texas A & M Press.
Maeckle raises butterflies and native plants in her Mariposario and urban garden as well as at her family’s Llano River ranch. She, her family and friends have tagged more than 5,000 Monarch butterflies, 43 of which have been recovered from the forest floor in the Mexican mountains.
In 2015, Maeckle worked closely with the National Wildlife Federation to convince the city of San Antonio to sign the NWF’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge in 2015, resulting in San Antonio’s status as the nation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City. In 2016, with the help of many volunteers and community collaborators, she organized San Antonio’s Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, which celebrate its fifth year in October 2020. The Festival, which unfolds online this year, occurs during peak monarch migration season in San Antonio, and attracts thousands of visitors. Social impact media site Nationswell profiled the Festival in a 12-minute documentary and named it “Outstanding Solution of 2018.”
Maeckle also spearheaded a local pollinator habitat initiative, 300for300, in an effort to create 300 pollinator habitats for San Antonio’s 300th birthday. After exceeding its 2018 goal, the initiative expanded beyond San Antonio, and is set a goal of 500 pollinator habitats by 2020. The habitat initiative now boasts 570 gardens.