The Texas Butterfly Ranch was proud to present
the third annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival

Three fantastic days of science, education, art and celebration
October 19 – 21, 2018

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.

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


An estimated 7,000+ attended the Festival on Sunday, 10/21
250+ participated in our climate change and Butterflies without Borders Forum 10/19
60 people learned to create a pollinator garden at SAWS landscaping workshop at the Festival on 10/21
45 teachers learned how to use monarchs in the classroom as a teaching tool—in English y español 10/20
50 people were enlightened about the role of bats in our food chain at Holy Mezcal, Batman in Confluence Park 10/21
115 ate insects at San Antonio Botanical Garden’s Edible Insects event on 10/20; 100s of the less adventurous observed from afar
Dozens attended National Wildlife Federation reception honoring San Antonio as first Monarch Butterfly Champion City on 10/20
Rivard Report Panel

Robert Rivard, Rebeca Quiñonez Piñón, Marianna Treviño Wright, Carey Gillam and Karen Oberhauser discuss the monarch migration and our changing climate at Butterflies without Border Forum. Photo by Mike Quinn

Teachers learn to tag Monarchs at the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival. Photo by San Antonio River Authority


750 monarch butterflies were tagged* and released
550 in one-on-one how-to-tag-a-monarch butterfly demos were conducted by trained docents, reaching an estimated 1,500 people

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


October 4, 2018 – January 6, 2019

Margarita Cabrera

MONARCHS: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly

Public Opening: Thursday, October 4,
Southwest School of Art 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Blue Star Contemporary 7:00 – 9:00 pm

This show runs from October 4 through January at two of San Antonio’s most active art institutions–the Southwest School of Art and the Blue Star Contemporary. During Festival week, why not migrate over to either venue to enjoy a timely art show that uses monarch butterflies as a reference? All artists in the show either currently live in, or come from, the direct migratory path of monarch butterflies, the famous IH-35 pollinator corridor that reaches from Canada to Mexico.

Underwritten by the Southwest School of Art

Friday, October 19, 2018

BUTTERFLIES WITHOUT BORDERS FORUM: the Monarch Migration and our Changing Climate

Join us for a lively and timely discussion with a broad range of panelists. We’ll explore the intersections and consequences of politics and pollinators, climate change and border walls, native plants and pesticides. Our panel:

Moderated by award-winning journalist and cofounder of the Rivard Report, Robert Rivard.

For more information and speaker bios, read this post.

Underwritten by the Southwest School of Art

Bat Talk Invitation

HOLY MEZCAL, BATMAN! Bats, booze, wildlife acoustics and beautiful photography at Confluence Park

Did you know that bats pollinate agave, which makes our tequila and mezcal possible? Yep.

Our friends at the Commission on National Biodiversity in Mexico will share The Rhythm of the Planet, a spectacular photography collection of migratory pollinators like bats, birds, whales and butterflies in an indoor/outdoor art show that will highlight the amazing creatures that make one of every three bites of our food possible.

Fran Hutchins of Bat Conservation International will offer a bat talk and wildlife acoustic tour and William Scanlan of Heavy Metl, one of the top importers of artisanal mezcal in the country will explain the process of producing mezcal.

Join us in celebrating these ecosystem workers with sips of mezcal. CHEERS!

Underwritten by the Commission on National Biodiversity of Mexico, the San Antonio River Foundation and San Antonio River Authority

Saturday, October 20, 2018

TEACHER WORKSHOP Monitoring Monarchs: A Teacher Workshop on the San Antonio River

FREE to teachers, but space will be limited.

Karen Oberhauser, founder of Monarch Joint Venture and Director of the Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin, will lead a training workshop that will teach educators how to use monarchs in the classroom. Oberhauser, one of the top monarch butterfly scientists in the country, is founder of Monarch Joint Venture, one of the premier monarch butterfly and pollinator conservation organizations in the country.

Underwritten by the San Antonio River Authority  and the Texas Butterfly Ranch

Blue Sky Monarchs

TEACHER WORKSHOP Mariposas Sin Fronteras: Bilingual Education Citizen Science Training for Teachers

FREE to teachers, but space will be limited.

This training for bilingual educators will be led by Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón, Monarch Outreach Coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation. Quiñonez-Piñon, a forest ecologist, will work with bilingual educators to demonstrate the myriad ways to tap monarch butterflies and their migration as a teaching mechanism in the classroom. Teachers will become acquainted with the various bilingual resources available.

Underwritten by the National Wildlife Federation

Fried Green Tomatoes with Tomato Hornworms


Caterpillar canapes, anyone?

Join the San Antonio Botanical Garden and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for an entomophagy expedition and learn about the eating of insects as food. Small bite insect-based food samples and family activities—including Cricket Races, Painting with Cochineal, and Face Painting—will be FREE with admission.

For those who want to sink their teeth into four chef demonstrated recipes featuring creepy crawlers, two ticketed events will take place at 10:30 AM and 12 PM–$25 per adult, $10 per child.

Ticketed program features insect eating evangelist Robert Nathan Allen, founder of Little Herds, entomologist Molly Keck and horticulturist David Rodriguez, both of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service.

Menu forthcoming, but trust it will be memorable and healthy. Bring the kids!

Underwritten by the San Antonio Botanical Garden, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, San Antonio Water System, and Andeavor

Sunday, October 21, 2018


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

It takes flight at the Pearl with a People for Pollinators Parade, monarch butterfly tagging demos, educational booths and activities for the whole family. The highlight: a high noon butterfly release at Pearl Park. Five of the hundreds of butterflies tagged at our Festival last year made the successful trek to Mexico and were recovered on the forest floor there in March of 2018.

Don’t miss this special day of celebration and citizen science that unfolds during peak monarch butterfly migration season in our very own “Texas Funnel.”

10 AM People for Pollinators Parade

10 AM – 2 PM One-on-one How to Tag a Monarch Butterfly tagging demonstrations by trained docents

10:30 AM  and 12:30 PM  300for300: Plant a Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Garden at Pearl Studio

The Gardening Volunteers of South Texas will lead two one-hour tutorials on planning and planting a butterfly and pollinator habitat. The presentation will focus on the importance of the Monarch butterfly, the plants that provide the best nectar or larvae food sources, and a step-by-step description of how to plant a Monarch garden. Registration required.

One-hour workshop will repeat twice.

Workshop sponsored by Gardening Volunteers of South Texas and San Antonio Water System


Our Forum resulted in national media coverage of the border wall dispute at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas

Children from Children’s Rehabilitation Institute Teleton joined us on stage for the butterfly release.

Festival named an “Outstanding Solution” by social impact media site Nationswell


CRIT Participates in Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival

Children’s Rehabilitation Institute Teletón
November 1, 2018

Butterflies without Borders

11-minute documentary
October 22nd, 2018

Butterflies take over Pearl

Rivard Report
October 21, 2018

Chefs Serve Up Gourmet Dishes at Botanical Garden

San Antonio Express-News
October 20, 2018


John & Florence Newman Foundation
San Antonio River Authority
Rivard Report
Winkler Family Foundation
San Antonio Water System
National Wildlife Federation
Plateau Land & Wildlife Management
Plowshare Media
Trinity University

Green Haven Industries, Inc.

Katy and Ted Flato

Steve and Marty Hixon

Douglass King Seeds
Monarch Joint Venture
Lake Flato
Native American Seed
The Nature Conservancy


Bandera Bees * Bat Conservation International * Bexar County Master Gardeners * Bridge Projects * CRIT San Antonio * Douglass King Seeds * Gardening Volunteers of South Texas * Gardopia Gardens * Little Herds * Monarch Joint Venture * National Wildlife Federation * National Charity League Mariposa Chapter * The Nectar Bar * Rainbow Gardens Nursery * San Antonio Botanical Garden * San Antonio Natural Areas * San Antonio Zoo * Shades of Green Nursery * University of Texas at San Antonio * Witte Museum