Monarch Butterfly Release Celebration

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Sunday, August 18, 2019

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

Cambridge Highlands
City Wide
Neighborhood Nine
North Cambridge
Strawberry Hill
West Cambridge

Butterfly Release on Sunday August 18th at 2PM

The sixth annual raising and releasing of monarch butterflies by the Cambridge Water Department at Fresh Pond Reservation has begun! 

From now until the public release ceremony in August you can view the caterpillars’ progress in the Ranger Station at Fresh Pond. The Cambridge Water Department sees this as an opportunity to partner and engage with the public for the benefit of both the monarch butterfly population and Cambridge’s drinking water supply in the urban wild of Fresh Pond Reservation—which was recognized last summer as a migratory monarch waystation after 5 years of propagating both milkweed plants and monarch butterflies.

This raise-and-release project combines volunteer stewardship and public education activities at Fresh Pond Reservation to encourage a monarch population in the beautiful City of Cambridge.  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 monarch butterfly release celebration is scheduled for Sunday, August 18th, from 2:00-3:30pm at the Walter J. Sullivan Water Treatment Facility (250 Fresh Pond Parkway). See the butterflies up close, learn about their migration, complete the free activity booklet for a Jr. Range badge, and enjoy kids’ crafts! The release will begin at approximately 2:35pm in the adjacent meadow of Kinglsey Park at Fresh Pond.

To learn more about Fresh Pond or this project and event, please contact Ranger Tim at (617) 349-6489 /, or visit the webpage at

Learning about Monarch migration with the rangerThe crowd viewing the Monarchs flying away

Facepainting at the release celebrationLooking at wings under the microscope

monarch butterfly pairA monarch chrysalis

A Fresh Pond Junior Ranger Badge