Courtesy of Creative Commons

San Anto celebrates the migration of monarchs.

 

Monarch butterflies–serial navigators, stunning muse, and prolific pollinators–make their way through the Texas “funnel” during fall, including an appearance in San Antonio this weekend, as they follow the Rio Grande south to forests in central Mexico to overwinter.

The monarchs’ yearly migration through north America provides more than just inspiration and festivals; they pollinate throughout their journey, and they contribute to the life and longevity of nearly 90 percent of all plants.

Their intrinsic navigating system guides them back north in the spring, bonding together Canada, the U.S. and Mexico with mother nature’s food web.

This weekend, the takes off on Oct. 20-22 during peak monarch migration.

The festival, presented by the Texas Butterfly Ranch, is themed Butterflies without Borders. The three-day event aims to raise awareness of the damage occurring to the overwintering habitat in Mexico, where monarchs cluster for months at time.

San Antonio, title holder of the nation’s first monarch Butterfly Champion City, will be teaming with events that provide educational, entertaining and engaging activities for the community free and open to the public.

Friday launches the events into play at the Pearl Stable with a ‘Butterflies Without Borders’ symposium. Scientists explore and discuss what political and atmospheric changes mean for pollinator advocacy.

Saturday, the Witte Museum will host a fascinating ‘Bugs for Lunch?’ workshop led by entomophagy expert, Louise Henault-Ethier.

The San Antonio River Authority will host a teacher’s workshop on education in the classroom lead by Elizabeth Howard, founder of Journey North.

The San Antonio Botanical Garden will host ‘Butterfly Walk and Talk,’ a brief talk on the life cycle and migration of Monarch butterflies with Dr. Chip Taylor.

The Yanaguana Garden will host ‘Tree of Life’, an engaging art activity by Luis Moro.

The Mexican Cultural Institute will display Atravesando Fronteras/Crossing Borders: Art by Luis Moro, followed by a talk with Ph. D. Carlos Galindo Leal, Director of Scientific Communication in the National Commission for the Use and Knowledge of Biodiversity.

Sunday, the festival concludes at The Pearl with a “People for Pollinators Parade” where Monarch butterfly tagging demos, education, food, music and fun will ensue-costumes are encouraged! The parade provides the community with an opportunity for more than just entertainment; by participating in events like the Monarch butterfly tagging, scientists receive the aid needed to further understand the migration. Community engagement contributes to the prosperity of the Monarchs, which leads to the resilience and health of our ecosystem. Happy pollinating!

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