The Texas Butterfly Ranch was proud to present the fourth annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, a week of science, education, art and celebration, October 12 – 20, 2019.

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

Hundreds of monarch butterflies were tagged and released in one-on-one citizen science tagging demos. Photo by Drake White

It’s a story of Butterflies without Borders, and one we celebrate. Here’s what transpired.

Interest and attendance

An estimated 4,000+ attended the Festival at Pearl on Sunday, 10/21

200+ participated in the Butterflies without Borders Forum, 10/19

Another 200+ joined us for Holy Agave Spirits! It’s the Bat Man of Mexico, to learn about the role bats play in making some of our favorite food and drink possible, 10/20.

60+ people learned to create a pollinator garden at SAWS and other landscaping workshops.

30 teachers learned how to use monarchs in the classroom as a teaching tool—in English y español.

70+ ate insects at San Antonio Botanical Garden’s Edible Insects event on 10/19; 100s of the less adventurous observed from afar.

600+ attended FREE screenings of “Flight of the Butterflies” and “The Bat Man of Mexico” at Yanaguana Gardens, UTSA and UNAM.

See the full calendar of 2019 Festival events here.

Butterfly numbers and pollinator education

  • 550 monarch butterflies were tagged* and released in one-on-one citizen science butterfly tagging demos conducted by trained docents, reaching an estimated 1,500 people.
  • Thousands witnessed the world premiere of the Waggle Dance by choreographer Mau Garcia, who interpreted the dance bees do for each other to communicate where the nectar is flowing.
  • More than 100 teachers and others got schooled in how to transform their yards and classroom gardens into pollinator habitats.
  • Hundreds learned about the importance of insects and bats in the ecosystem, and how they make one out of every three bites of our food possible.
  • Dr. Rodrigo Medellín, the Bat Man of Mexico, gave a lecture to UTSA students on climate change and dropped by Lamar Elementary School to share bat stories with sixth graders.
  • Dr. Dara Satterfield, a monarch butterfly and migration expert, taught an environmental studies class at Trinity University and shared wisdom about monarch diseases with butterfly gardens at the San Antonio Botanical Garden; she also schooled 30 citizen scientists on OE, an affliction of monarch butterflies.

*NOTE: FIVE butterflies tagged at our 2017 Festival were recovered in Mexico in 2018. IN 2019, three of our butterflies were recovered. Story here.

Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival on YouTube.


From all over Texas, some from Mexico, Ontario, Washington, DC, Michigan, elsewhere

Media coverage

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Links to media coverage


In 2019, year we partnered with the World Heritage Office for the first time, in an effort to link pollinators to the foods and drinks they make possible. This relationship amplified our existing strategic partnerships with the San Antonio River Authority and San Antonio River Foundation.


Once again, the community rallied to make our Festival flourish, and keep most events FREE and open to the public. Thanks to all who participated!

The fifth annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival will take place the weekend of October 16 – 18, 2020. We hope to see you all there!

Special thanks to our Sponsors!






Go Smart Solar, Marty and Tim Hixon, Ruth and John Agather



Alamo Area Beekeepers Association * Bat Conservation International * Bexar County Master Gardeners * Bridge Projects * CPS Energy * Eco Centro * Gardening Volunteers of South Texas * Gardopia Gardens  * GoSmart Solar * Imperfect Produce * Mitchell Lake Audubon Center * National Wildlife Federation  * The Nectar Bar * Rainbow Gardens Nursery * San Antonio Botanical Garden * San Antonio Natural Areas * University of Texas at San Antonio