San Antonio’s Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival takes flight

San Antonio's Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival marks the monarch butterfly's migration with several fun, educational events. (Courtesy Texas Butterfly Ranch)
San Antonio's Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival marks the monarch butterfly's migration with several fun, educational events. (Courtesy Texas Butterfly Ranch)

San Antonio's Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival marks the monarch butterfly's migration with several fun, educational events. (Courtesy Texas Butterfly Ranch)

This October has plenty of offerings from the sixth annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, a monthlong celebration of science, community, art and education inspired by the monarch butterfly and its peak migration season in San Antonio.

After a virtual hiatus in 2020, the festival returns with almost a dozen events, culminating in a live celebration Oct. 16 at Confluence Park, 310 W. Mitchell St.

San Antonio River Foundation is a co-organizer of Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival activities, which are family friendly and show how people and nature are connected.

The overall festival is designed to celebrate science, citizen science, art and education, event organizers said.

Last year’s virtual festival drew more than 6,000 attendees at 20 virtual workshops and events. In 2019, more than 4,000 people attended the festival day at Pearl, while thousands of others enjoyed more than a dozen in-person events around town.



“Deepening our support for the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival makes perfect sense,” foundation Executive Director Frates Seeligson said in a release. “Its educational components and celebration are an ideal fit with our mission to harmonize the needs of people and nature through stewardship of the rivers and land.”

See the Texas Butterfly Ranch website for a complete schedule of this year’s events. Here are some local highlights:




  • Visit the demonstration garden at Phil Hardberger Park from 9-11 a.m. Oct. 2 and talk with gardeners to see how you can incorporate native plants into your garden. Take the 8400 N.W. Military Hwy. park entrance to attend this free event.

  • Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe will discuss her new book, “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World,” at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 at Legacy Park, 103 W. Houston St.

  • The free event includes sustainability oriented programming, such as hands-on pollinator plant making, live composting and a rain garden demonstration. Food and drinks will be available from Pinkerton’s BBQ. Others can join the event virtually. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-conversation-with-climate-scientist-katharine-hayhoe-tickets-168611504549.

  • Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival takes place 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 16 at Confluence Park. The free event begins with a miniparade and tagging monarch butterflies for citizen science.



“With its native plant gardens, petal domes and location at the confluence of two rivers that represent the lifeblood of our city, Confluence Park rolls out the welcome mat for our Festival,” festival founder and director Monika Maeckle said in a release.

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