Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Brook with stones at Broad Meadow Brook
Broad Meadow Brook © Donald Perkins

17th Annual Barbara J. Walker Butterfly Festival

Special Event: August 10, 2024

12:00-4:00 pm

Celebrate all things butterflies with a day of educational fun at Broad Meadow Brook, where butterflies fly free in their natural habitats!

Visit the sanctuary on Saturday, August 10, any time between 12:00-4:00 pm for a suite of fun activities and opportunities to learn about butterflies, appropriate for all ages. Join the fun by visiting in costume to win a prize!

Young girl wearing a monarch butterfly crown

Featured Activities

  • Naturalist-led walks & workshops
  • Up-close encounters with live caterpillars
  • Butterfly art
  • Children's activities
  • Tours of our butterfly garden
  • Pollinator-friendly native plant sales
  • and much more!
Young boy looking at butterflies through binoculars


  • Members*: $5
  • Nonmembers: $6
  • Free for ages 2 & under


*Includes members of Mass Audubon and/or Mass Butterfly Club.

History of the Butterfly Festival

2008 marked the very first Barbara J. Walker Butterfly Festival, named for a dedicated sanctuary volunteer who counted butterflies and crafted ecological initiatives, including habitat management along the Cardinal Trail.

Caterpillars on leaves of a plant stalk

Barbara was an active member of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, leading field trips and assisting in butterfly surveys. Her records helped establish Broad Meadow Brook as a showcase for butterfly diversity, with over 80 species documented onsite. Sadly, Barbara passed away in 2008 after a determined battle with breast cancer. Her passion and advocacy live on today, as we celebrate the pollinators she cared for so dearly at this annual event.

What started as a day of workshops, lectures, and butterfly walks, has grown into a family-friendly celebration of butterflies, including crafts, activities, plant sales, garden tours, and more. The Caterpillar Lab and The Mass Butterfly Club have been partners in the festival since the beginning and will once again be part of the fun.

Butterfly perched on a purple flower

Butterfly Festival Sponsorship

This festival routinely attracts over 400 people to celebrate butterflies at the largest urban wildlife sanctuary in New England. Local businesses, organizations, and individuals can support this popular annual event by becoming a sponsor.

  • Monarch ($2,500+) 
  • Spicebush Swallowtail ($1,000+) 
  • Harris's Checkerspot ($500+) 
  • Great Spangled Fritillary ($250+)

All sponsorship packages include one free family pass for every $100 donated, recognition at the festival, a post on Broad Meadow Brook's Facebook page and inclusion on our website. Learn more about sponsorship 

2024 Sponsors

  • St. Gobain
  • Country Bank