Cambridge Water Department to Host Butterfly Release Ceremony


monarch butterfly pair

On Saturday, August 23, from 2-3:30 p.m., Cambridge Water Department staff will host a public release of rare monarch butterflies that have been raising at Fresh Pond Reservation since July.  The release ceremony, preceded by a parade beginning at the Walter J. Sullivan Treatment Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, and ending at the Reservation’s Lusitania Meadow, is the grand finale to Cambridge’s first-ever Fresh Pond Monarch Watch.  All members of the public are invited and encouraged to join the parade at 2 p.m. and the release ceremony that begins at approximately 2:35 p.m.

Fresh Pond Monarch Watch is a new raise-and-release project that combines volunteer stewardship and public education activities at Fresh Pond Reservation to encourage a monarch population in Cambridge’s urban wild.  Migratory monarch populations have been in decline nationally since the 1990s, and it is largely believed that habitat loss is the driving factor in that decline.  Good habitat conditions for monarchs are often conditions that are also essential for healthy watersheds. 

The Cambridge Water Department sees this as an opportunity to partner and engage with the public for the benefit of both the monarch and Cambridge’s drinking water supply and urban wild at Fresh Pond Reservation.

The parade is approximately one third of a mile long and is on an accessible, paved pathway (Perimeter Road).  Family-friendly costumes and noisemakers are encouraged.  People are also welcome to meet the parade at Lusitania Meadow for the release.  Additional parking will be available at the Tobin School, 197 Vassal Lane. 

To learn more contact Kirsten Lindquist at 617-349-6489 or, or visit the Fresh Pond Monarch Watch webpage.

Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Louis DePasquale
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager