MONARCH BUTTERFLY AND POLLINATOR FESTIVAL

The Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival is BACK! Our sixth annual Festival unfolds with multiple events this year throughout October.

Festival day occurs  Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Confluence Park.

PLEASE JOIN US!

You’ll learn about the monarch butterfly migration, the importance of the wildlife pollinators that make one out of every three bites of our food possible, and our special connections to Canada and Mexico.

Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival

Monarch butterflies move through Texas each fall on their way from Canada to the Mexican mountains. In this year of recovery, we’ll celebrate the spiritual aspect of the migration. For centuries, perhaps millennia, the butterflies’ generally return to Mexico in time for Day of the Dead in early November. Their arrival has been associated with the souls of loved ones who died and.

As a gesture of hope and healing, all butterflies tagged this season will carry the name of someone who died, as they take flight on their Forever Journey. Last year, TWO of our tagged butterflies tagged in honor of loved ones were recovered in Michoacán.

If you’d like us to tag a butterfly in honor of a friend, family member or loved one, please provide details here.

Special thanks to our friends at the San Antonio River Foundation and all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers for making this year’s Festival happen.

See you there!

Upcoming Events

Caterpillar Condos for Classrooms

A “caterpillar condo” will be awarded to 60 Title-1 classrooms throughout San Antonio on September 13 following a monarch teacher training on September 11 at Confluence Park. The condos–a pop-up cage, milkweed plant, monarch caterpillar, and tag for citizen science activity–will be accompanied by Blooming with Birdie’s hands-on, TEKS aligned, virtual curriculum. Students will learn about the monarch, metamorphosis, migration, and citizen science.

Second grade students will observe the life-cycle of the monarch’s metamorphosis as it morphs from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, then tag and release the butterfly to join the migration in October.

Applications are now closed.

Sponsored by Valero

2020: A Metamorphosis

FREE

Remember 2020? We couldn’t gather in person last year so we partnered with Walley Films to make a brief movie chronicling the challenging year through the lens of the migration and the metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly.

The 23-minute film follows the monarchs from Mexico on their journey north to Canada and back in October. You’ll appreciate the parallels between the monarchs’ struggle to continue their life cycle and ours, as we all morph to the next stage. Watch it on YouTube.

Saturday,  October 2

Pollinator Cooking Demo Kicks off Pollinator Month

10 AM at Pearl

FREE

Pearl is proud to honor pollinators and their role in our local food ecosystem. Throughout the month of October, be on the lookout for Farmers Market produce and menu items made possible by pollinators (be on the lookout for the graphic icon!) at select Pearl restaurants along with signage on the property that showcases pollinator-friendly landscaping.

Forever Journey: a Celebration of our Loved Ones

FREE

Each fall, monarch butterflies arrive in the high altitude forests west of Mexico City in time for Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos. We’ll honor this tradition by tagging hundreds of butterflies in honor of loved ones who died. The names of loved ones will be entered on the data sheets sent to citizen science project Monarch Watch with the hope that the butterflies are recovered in Mexico. Earlier this year TWO of the butterflies tagged at our 2021 Festival were recovered. Read their story here.

If you’d like us to tag a butterfly in someone’s name, please fill out this form to honor them and remember their names. If your family member, friend or loved one’s tagged butterfly makes it to Mexico, is recovered, and reported, we’ll let you know.

Sponsored by HEB

Thursday, October 7

A Conversation with Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist

6 PM at Legacy Park

FREE

Save the date for this hybrid event, A Conversation with Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist, streamed and projected at Legacy Park.

Hayhoe will discuss her new book, Saving Us: A climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World with Brendan Gibbons, environmental journalist for the San Antonio Report. Sustainability oriented programming, including hands-on pollinator plant making, live composting, and a rain garden demo will be followed by TPR’s streaming Summer Night City Series for those who want to gather. Food and drink available from Pinkerton’s BBQ. Others can join virtually.
6PM Doors and activities begin, 6:15PM movie screening of 2020: A Metamorphosis, 7PM A Conversation with Katharine, 8:15PM TPR Summer Night Series. Register here.

Saturday, October 9

Works of Art with Pollinators: an Educator Workshop

9AM-12PM at Confluence Park

FREE

This training session will share pollinator themed classroom activities with an emphasis on art and music with K-12 teachers. Educators can expect hands-on activities, lessons, and advice—and earn three State Board of Education Credits. The event will be hosted at pollinator friendly Confluence Park.  Register here.

Sponsored by the San Antonio River Authority

Saturday, October 9th

Garcia Street Urban Farm Tour

10 AM – 2 PM

FREE

Join the Garcia Street Urban Farm team for tours of their pollinator gardens to learn how to “partner with pollinators” for high-production gardening and food production.

Wednesday, October 13th

Pollinators 101: Class with Rainbow Gardens

10AM & 1PM at Rainbow Gardens Bandera

$10 Attendance Fee

Join Rainbow Gardens for their Pollinator 101 Class! Come out and learn the do’s, don’ts and how-to’s of pollinator gardening. After the class, there will be a short Q&A before heading out to the pollinator garden to see the butterflies in action. There will be helpful hand-outs and seeds for all. All participants must register to attend. Register for 10AM.  Register for 1PM. 

Thursday, October 14

Bexar Audubon Society Presents Special Online Program: A Talk with Jonathan Meiburg

6:30 PM via Zoom

FREE

Join this live zoom event to hear all about Jonathan Meiburg’s book A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey. Meiburg will discuss his findings and passion for the caracara, a bird in the falcon family. He makes a compelling case for embracing this hemispheric raptor, which scavenges dead animals and attacks and eats live prey in equal measure. The caracara is also known to steal hats, play games, and distinguish toys and colors. Registration details coming soon.

October 11-15

BiblioTech Public Library: Monarch Butterflies

FREE

Join all San Antonio BiblioTech Library branches for a celebration of the monarch butterfly October 11 – 15.  Participants will create a small craft representing the life cycle of the butterfly. More information here.

Friday, October 15

Nocturnal Pollinator Prowl

6PM-8PM Confluence Park

FREE

Join us for this family-friendly event exploring the world of nocturnal pollinators – bats, moths and fireflies! Grab an outdoor adventure kit* and explore Confluence Park with a nighttime pollinator prowl and scavenger hunt!

*Supplies are limited, kits are first come, first served

Saturday, October 16

Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival

10 AM – 2 PM at Confluence Park

FREE

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

Festival day takes flight with a People for Pollinators Parade at 10 AM. We’ll be tagging monarch butterflies for citizen science in honor of loved ones all day long, kayaking the beautiful San Antonio River and offering myriad educational events and family fun by our education partners.

Please check back with us as details come into focus.

Wednesday, October 27

Cocktails and Culture at the Witte Museum

7 PM – 9 PM

Come discover the nature, science and culture of pollinators found throughout Witte Museum! From the Cretaceous to today, pollinators continue to play an important role in the natural world and in cultures around the world. Come celebrate these important creatures at the final event of the 2021 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival. Tickets available here:  Cocktails & Culture: Pollinators at the Witte | The Witte Museum.

Presented by the Witte Museum 

Interested in Sponsoring the Festival?

You’ll find details here.

MANY THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS

San Antonio River Foundation
John & Florence Newman Foundation
Valero
HEB
San Antonio River Authority

Katy and Ted Flato

San Antonio City of Gastronomy
San Antonio Water System
The Witte Museum
The Pearl

Steve and Marty Hixon

Michelle Jacobson

Jane Bockus

MEDIA SPONSOR

In-Kind Sponsors

AND A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Bexar Audubon Society * Bexar County Master Gardeners * Compost Queens * Eco Centro * Garcia Street Farm * Lake Flato * Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter * Rainbow Gardens  *  Southern Wildlife Rehab * The Nectar Bar *  Trinity University * UTSA * Witte Museum *  Yoga Day