MONARCH BUTTERFLY AND POLLINATOR FESTIVAL

The Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival takes flight in October as migrating monarch butterflies move through our corner of the planet. Our seventh annual Festival unfolds with multiple events, including Festival day Saturday, October 8, 2022, at the historic Brackenridge Park in the heart of San Antonio, Texas.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival

Monarch butterflies move through Texas each fall on their way from Canada to overwinter in the Mexican mountains. 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.

As an ongoing 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. Since starting the Forever Journey initiative in 2020, FIVE butterflies tagged in honor of loved ones who died have been recovered on the forest floor in Mexico. 

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 Brackenridge Park Conservancy and all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers for making this year’s Festival happen.

See you there!

Upcoming Events

Help us reach 1,000 pledged pollinator habitats

As part of our commitment to the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and our role as the first Monarch Butterfly Champion City in the nation, we issued a pollinator habitat challenge to the community.

It started in 2018 for San Antonio’s Tricentennial: 300for300–300 pollinator habitats pledged for San Antonio’s 300th birthday. We exceeded or goal.

Then we aimed for 500 habitats by 2020. We exceeded that one, too. Now we want to hit 1,000 pollinator habitats by Day of the Dead. Will you help us? Sign up here and get on the map!

2020: A Metamorphosis

FREE

Let’s not forget 2020.  We couldn’t gather in person that year, or mourn the loss of loved ones. The year represents a metamorphosis and our 23-minute movies chronicles its challenges through the lens of the migration and metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly.

The 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.

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. FIVE butterflies tagged in honor of loved ones who died have been recovered and reported since the inception of the Forever Journey campaign in 2020. Want us to tag a butterfly in honor of someone who died? Fill out this form.

Wednesday, October 5

Rainbow Gardens: Pollinator Gardening 101

10 AM – 11:30 AM at Rainbow Gardens – Bandera Location

$12.50

Laura Jarvis of The Butterfly Landing will share all you need to know to establish a pollinator garden in this engaging session which addresses pollinator gardening basic. Information on plants for butterflies, hummingbirds and bees will be covered as well as appropriate plant materials, plant placement, and  butterfly and caterpillar identification. Handouts provided along with a Q&A and tour. 

Register here!

Thursday, October 6

THANK YOU EVENT: Deep in the Heart Screening and Mezcal

5:30 – 9 PM at the Japanese Tea Garden

Festival partners and sponsors who make our Festival possible each year will enjoy a Q&A with Skip Hobbie, chief photographer of Deep in the Heart, a wildlife documentary narrated by Matthew McConaughey, as well as insights from bat ecologist Nathan Fuller on the role of bats in the ecosystem and Mezcal. San Antonio Report founder Robert Rivard will moderate, followed by a screening of the film.

A mezcal mixer and light bites made possible by pollinators will precede the screening. INVITATION ONLY

Underwritten by the Winkler Family Foundation, UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy – San Antonio

and San Antonio Parks Foundation

Saturday, October 8

Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival

10 AM – 2 PM at Brackenridge Park

FREE

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

Festival day takes flight with a People for Pollinators Parade. We’ll be tagging monarch butterflies for community science in honor of loved ones all day long, waggle dancing like the bees, and maneuvering a monarch migration obstacle course along with myriad educational events and family fun by our education partners. Don’t miss it! Check back here for updates.

Sponsored by Brackenridge Park Conservancy

Wednesday, October 12

Rainbow Gardens – Pollinator Gardening 102

10 AM – 11:30 AM at Rainbow Gardens – Bandera Location 

$12.50

Join Laura Jarvis of the Butterfly Landing for Part II of pollinator gardening. In this session you’ll move beyond monarchs to learn more butterfly species and their preferred plants. Jarvis will cover butterfly and plant care and other topics. This is an extension of Pollinator Gardening 101, which is not a requirement for enjoying this class. 

Register here! 

Sunday, October 15

Flight of the Butterflies: Documentary Screening

1 PM & 3 PM in the Memorial Auditorium at the Witte Museum 

FREE with Museum Admission

In celebration of the 2022 Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival, the Witte presents “Flight of the Butterflies,” an award-winning documentary that shares the  compelling story of Dr. Fred Urquhart and his wife Norah’s 1976 “discovery” of the monarch butterfly roosting sites in Mexico. Their tenacious efforts included the development of the first citizen scientist tagging programs. Don’t miss it!

Sunday, October 16

Picture Your World – Youth Photography Program

1 PM – 4 PM at Friedrich Wilderness Park

$15.00

Picture Your World and learn some nature photography tricks at this workshop aimed at 8- 18-year-olds. Friedrich Wilderness Park is home to pollinators, rare birds, and terrestrial orchids. Picture Your World will provide cameras, photography instruction, and a guided hike with a Master Naturalist to make the most of your experience.

Cost: $15.00 per youth participant. Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Tickets and registration info available on the Green Spaces website.

Saturday, October 22

Pollinator Gardening Kit + Class

Family Experience

30 min classes at 10 AM, 10:30 AM & 11 AM

at Rainbow Gardens – Bandera Location

$80.00

Blooming with Birdie will lead this family gardening class on the how’s and why’s of pollinator gardening with a hands-on seed ball making activity. Kit and family videos included, designed for children ages 4-12. One ticket covers a family of four. Please send a quick email to rainbowgardensrobin@yahoo.com with the number attending if your family you need more than four chairs. Register here.

Saturday, October 22

Pollinator Story Time: Make & Take at Mitchell Lake

10:30 AM at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center

FREE with Entry Fee

Come listen as we read a story about pollinators in our native plant gardens, make a craft item to take home, and enjoy the peaceful outdoors at Mitchell Lake.

Wednesday, October 26

Rat poison kills birds—especially raptors!

6:30 PM via Zoom with Bexar Audubon Society

FREE

Join us for an enlightening presentation by UTSA environmental scientist Eres A. Gomez on—wait for it—anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs). ARs are rodent poisons, but creatures who eat rodents as prey are often effected. Eres will share results from a recent study on rehabilitated owls in the San Antonio area.

Registration and other details here: BAS Monthly Meeting October 26, 2022-Eres Gomez, Rodenticides and Raptors

Past Events

Friday, September 23rd

Blooming with Birdie: Caterpillars and Cocktails

4:30 PM – 6 PM at Geekdom Event Center 

FREE

Enjoy butterfly tagging, caterpillar observation, food, music, and an eye-opening discussion with Texas Butterfly Ranch’s Monika Maeckle about the “endangered monarch” as we celebrate Blooming with Birdie’s 3rd year of the Caterpillar Condo program. Our friends at Rainbow Gardens and the Nectar Bar will join us to talk about pollinator plants and gardens.

This event is free and open to the public. This event is for adults.

Register here. 

Caterpillar Condos for Classrooms

“Caterpillar condos” will be awarded to 75-Title-1 public schools to celebrate monarch migration season.

What’s a caterpillar condo? It includes two monarch caterpillars and milkweed–the monarch’s host plant. Over the course of a month, students observe the life-cycle of the monarch as it morphs from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, then tag and release as part of a citizen science project with Monarch Watch with learning supported by four videos of TEKS aligned, hands-on curriculum developed by Blooming with Birdie. Participating teachers will attend a teacher training session hosted by Blooming with Birdie at the Witte on September 24.

Stay tuned for dates and details!

Sponsored by Valero

Saturday, October 1

Pollinator Gardening Kit + Class

Grown-Up Experience

10 AM – 11 AM at Rainbow Gardens – Bandera Location

$65.00

Rainbow Gardens is partnering with Blooming with Birdie to provide Pollinator Garden Starter Kits to support the Texas Butterfly Ranch’s Pollinator Habitat Initiative to reach 1,000 habitats. Join us for a class with Blooming with Birdie’s Maura Bobbitt to learn how to use your kit to start your very own pollinator garden. Seating is limited; one ticket will cover seats for two adults. Register here.

Interested in Sponsorship?

You’ll find details here.

MANY THANKS TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS

John & Florence Newman Foundation
Winkler Family Foundation
Winkler Family Foundation

Joan and Herb Kelleher Charitable Foundation

Valero
San Antonio River Authority
San Antonio River Authority
San Antonio City of Gastronomy

Katy and Ted Flato

In-Kind Sponsors

AND A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS

AITSCM * Bexar Audubon Society * Bexar BiblioTech Digital Library * Bexar Branches Alliance * Bexar County Master Gardeners * Blooming with Birdie * BSA Alamo Area Council * COSA Parks & Recreation – Natural Areas *  EcoRise * Gardening Volunteers of South Texas * Gardopia Gardens * Mitchell Lake Audubon Center * Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy * Radical Registrars * San Antonio Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas * San Antonio Zoo * Steele and Rodriguez Montessori * Texas Parks & Wildlife Department – Hill Country State Natural Area * The Twig Book Shop