Sunday August 19th is the Butterfly Release

Monarch Butterfly Release Celebration

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Sunday, August 19, 2018

Walter J. Sullivan Water Treatment Facility
250 Fresh Pond Pkwy.

West Cambridge
Strawberry Hill
Cambridge Highlands
Neighborhood Nine
North Cambridge

Tim Puopolo,, 617-349-6489

Sunday August 19th is the Butterfly Release

On Sunday, August 19th, from 2:00-3:30pm, Water Department staff will host a public release celebration of rare monarch butterflies that the Department has 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 one of the Reservation’s native meadows in Kingsley park, is the grand finale to Cambridge’s Fresh Pond Monarch Watch and a celebration of our official designation as a monarch “waystation” after 5 years of protecting the butterflies as well as the milkweed.  All members of the public are invited and encouraged to join the fun at 2:00pm and the release ceremony that begins at approximately 2:35pm.

Fresh Pond Monarch Watch is a 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 travel between New England and Mexico and have been in decline nationally since the 1990s, 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 in the urban wild at Fresh Pond Reservation.

The parade is approximately one fifth of a mile long and is on an accessible, paved pathway.  Family-friendly costumes and noisemakers are encouraged.  People are also welcomed to meet the parade at Kingsley Park’s meadow for the release.  Additional parking will be available at the Tobin School on 197 Vassal Lane.  To learn more about Fresh Pond Monarch Watch or the release, please contact Ranger Tim at (617) 349-6489 /, or visit the webpage at

Releasing the butterflies in 2016 Butterfly art and costumes are encouraged, much like this young person Cage setup in the Ranger Station Adult butterflies feeding on cut fruit
Water Department staff releasing the butterflies Butterfly next to chrysalises in rearing cage