Summer Species: Butterflies

Summer Species

An annual celebration of a native plant or animal found along Buffalo Bayou, Summer Species includes nature walks, public art, and more! This year we’re celebrating the butterflies that call Buffalo Bayou home.

Butterfly Walks, Flutter Fling & Ask an Expert


Learn about local butterfly species, life cycle, and habitat on monthly discovery tours of Buffalo Bayou with Nancy Greig, former director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center.

Join us for a morning of family fun at the Flutter Fling! Experience a discovery walk, butterfly-inspired kids crafts, and a Pollinator Parade around The Houston Monarch Story prairie.

On Saturday mornings through August, join our resident butterfly experts in The Water Works Visitor Center for Butterfly Briefings to learn about the wondrous world of butterflies and see the transformation of caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly in our very own mini butterfly and moth habitat.

A Summer of Butterflies

In addition to our Butterfly Walks, Flutter Fling, and Ask an Expert events, we’re excited to have a number of other ways to engage with Summer Species! Visit The Houston Monarch Story installation to learn about the importance of native milkweed, join our e-newsletter to receive monthly pollinator-themed content, and pick up your free Flyway Field Guide from the Visitor Center or online to explore the butterflies of Buffalo Bayou on your own!

The Houston Monarch Story

Artist Michelle Matthews created The Houston Monarch Story to raise awareness around the decline of Texas Monarch populations due to lack of native milkweed (a vital host plant). This living art piece uses butterfly-inspired sculptures and a growing pollinator prairie to educate the community about the importance of native plant species to butterflies, and inspire action. Experience The Houston Monarch Story in Buffalo Bayou Park, just east of Jackson Hill Bridge.

Learn More

The Flyway Field Guide

From May through August, stop by The Water Works Visitor Center to get your free Flyway Field Guide, an activity booklet that explores butterfly life cycle, habitat, and tips for spotting butterflies along Buffalo Bayou. And when you’re done, bring your completed booklet to the Visitor Center to receive a special prize!

Field Guides are available for free in The Water Works Visitor Center, open 9am-8pm daily.

Download a digital field guide today!

Flyway Field Guide

Guía de Campo Flyway

Summer Species Email Series

From May to August, we’ll be sharing a special Summer Species themed e-newsletter each month. Featuring a unique butterfly or moth species you might find along the bayou, an important pollinator plant or ecosystem, a conservation chat with one of BBP’s partners or conservation team members, and upcoming events, these newsletters are a great way to engage with Summer Species from wherever you might be!

Sign Up


May Newsletter

Generous support for Summer Species provided by
Buffalo Bayou Partnership is
The Houston Monarch Story is supported by: