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Roots and Wings Festival

October 24, 2021 @ 1:00 pm 5:00 pm

Join us in the celebration of trees, pollinators, and more! The Roots & Wings Festival is Austin’s annual combined celebration of Arbor Day and Monarch Appreciation Day. We use this time to celebrate trees, butterflies, bees, and all pollinators! Nature is soothing and healing in so many ways. We are as much a part of nature as it is a part of our lives. Nature is and has always been, here for you.

On Sunday, October 24, join us for the kickoff to Roots & Wings Festival, a two-week-long citywide combined celebration of Arbor Day and Monarch Appreciation Day.


This event is free with regular Garden admission. Current admission rates can be found here.

Visitors with the following cards may enter free: Electronic Benefits Transfer, WIC, STAR, CHIP, Medicaid, and MAP ID. Must also provide a photo ID and reserve admission here.


  • 1:00PM Reading of City of Austin proclamation
  • 2:45PM Butterfly Release
  • 3:45PM Butterfly Release
  • 4:45PM Butterfly Release

  • ALL DAY (1-5PM)
    • Butterfly Tent led by Zilker Botanical Garden (in Oak Grove)
    • Assisted Tree Climb led by City of Austin Forestry (near Trail of Passages)
    • Butterfly Bike led by Austin Bike Zoo (in Oak Grove)
    • Appearances by Smokey the BearButterfly releases
    • Self-guided search and find (see below)
    • Live entertainment

Tagged Butterfly Releases, at 2:45pm, 3:45pm, 4:45pm in the Rose Garden

Monarch Tagging at Zilker Botanical Garden

Since 2014 Zilker Botanical Garden has played a role in Roots and Wings, formally called Monarch Appreciation Day, which celebrates trees and all things that pollinate. As part of this great learning experience, both kids and adults can learn how to tag Monarch butterflies.

Each Fall, volunteers can purchase tags from Monarch Watch, adhere the tiny stickers to migrating monarchs’ wings, record the location, tag number, and gender of the butterfly, and then send the data back to Monarch Watch. Volunteers from Monarch Watch then visit the roosting sites in Mexico, seeking out butterfly preserve guides and other locals to whom they pay $5 per recovered tag. Those recoveries are then entered into the Monarch Watch database and shared with the community, found here. The goal of this is to continue to learn about Monarch migration for future conservation efforts.

Search & Find

As you explore the Garden, be on the lookout for markers that indicate the pollinators and creatures that inhabit, pollinate, and coexist with specific plants. How many can you find?


Go Green! We encourage carpooling, ridesharing, biking, walking, and use of mass transit.

  • Plan your trip via Cap Metro at capmetro.org
  • Attendees should enter the Zilker Botanical Garden through the Hartman Gate (also known as the Rose Gate) located at 2300 Stratford Drive.
  • Free car parking is available in the Stratford Drive parking area, a gravel lot located under and adjacent to the Mopac Bridge.
  • Bike parking and handicap accessible parking are available in the main parking lot off of Barton Springs Road.


Visit a Roots & Wings Pop-up event. Details coming soon.

There will be Pop-Up Events occurring throughout the city. Admission to all Roots & Wings Pop-Up Events is free. All Pop-Ups are held from Oct. 24-Nov. 6.
The Roots & Wings Festival is brought to you by multiple City of Austin Government departments and partners, including…City of Austin:

  • Austin Public Library
  • Development Services Department
  • Austin Parks and Recreation Department
  • Austin WatershedCommunity Partners:
  • Austin Parks Foundation
  • Texas A&M Forest Service
  • TreeFolks
  • Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy

View the event website here.

In accordance with current Austin Public Health guidelines, masks are required at all times for attendees ages 2 and up, regardless of vaccination status, except while actively eating or drinking. Please socially distance at this event wherever possible, keeping 6 feet of distance between you and others that are not in your household. The City of Austin is proud to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require assistance for participation in our programs or use of our facilities, please call (512) 974-3914. In the event of inclement weather, please check the Austin Nature in the City page for updates.

Zilker Botanical Garden

2220 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78746
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