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Wild Yards! Private Home Tour Showcases Landscaping for Butterflies, Birds and other Wildlife

(Mission, TX) – You're invited to see what's behind the fence or past the wall in some of the best backyards for wildlife watching in our community! As part of the 18th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival, author and naturalist, Patricia Sutton, will lead the “Landscaping for Butterflies” field trip to yards large and very small, to show and tell you what can be done to transform your parcel of land into a slice of paradise. 

A founding board member of the North American Butterfly Association, and working naturalist since 1977, Sutton is the author of the “How to Spot...” series of birding and butterflying books.  In addition to leading the sold out guided night tour on “How to Spot an Owl”,  Sutton will facilitate the educational session on landscaping, Sunday, November 3, at the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas.  From there, participants will depart to experience backyard habitats created by homeowners to enhance the liveability of their property for butterflies, birds and other wildlife. One residence on the tour boasts more than 110 species of butterflies passing through, while another has been host to more than 60 species of birds.

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Grab a Shovel and Get Growing, It's National Planting Day!

(Mission, TX) – Grab a shovel and get growing becauseSaturday, September 7, is National Planting Day!  Established by Keep America Beautiful, this special, volunteer initiative celebrates the value and power of native plant species in restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities.

The National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas, is celebrating by inviting everyone to join our staff in planting new beds of native trees and flowers to kick off the fall planting season. For National Planting Day, the entrance fee to the Center will be waived for all who volunteer to labor and learn more about the value of native plants and good gardening practices. Planting will take place from 8:30 am – 10:30am, and all participants will be given their own packet of tropical milkweed seeds to plant at home, as a token of our appreciation.

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Proud Partner with the Girl Scouts

The National Butterfly Center is thrilled to present the following programs for Girl Scouts, only.  

What could be better than earning badges at the National Butterfly Center, where you never know what you will see!  Explore and enjoy wild butterflies, birds of prey, endangered and protected species, and the South Texas specialties that are free to roam, here, where every visit is a unique experience, and each program is designed to provide close encounters with our natural wonders. 

DEADLINE for Registration: Online registration for each activity will close TWO WEEKS prior to the date of the scheduled event.  

QUESTIONS?  Call 956.583.5400, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to seeing you!

2017-2018 Events


Saturday, October 14: Earn the National Butterfly Center’s MONARCH CONSERVATION badge during the peak of migration season! We’re honored to equip the next generation of conservationists by teaching them how Monarchs Need Milkweed & Me at this very special event for Daisies – Ambassadors. Come learn what you can do to help the state insect of Texas recover from a historic decline in numbers.  $15 pp includes your badge & supplies, instructional programs from 9AM - 12PM, plus all-day park admission. There is no charge for 2 leaders/troop; parents and siblings pay applicable park admission, only.  All participants are invited to pack a lunch and picnic under the palapa. Space is limited. REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. For more information call 956.583.5400.


Saturday, December 9: Come celebrate SPIKE’S 15th BIRTHDAY!  Our giant, African-Spurred Tortoise, is friendly, fun, and a huge part of our environmental education programs! Join the party with Spike and the staff of the National Butterfly Center from 10AM – 12PM. Regular park admission applies for this festive event, which includes a special fruitcake, singing, arts & crafts, “Beauty and the Beast” photos with Spike, and what may be the world’s slowest parade. Please bring an apple, long leaf lettuce, or strawberries for our scaled herbivore. No registration required. For more information call 956.583.5400.


Saturday, March 3: Earn FOUR badges in one day: GARDENING, FLOWERS, ANIMAL HABITATS and the new OUTDOOR ART badge at this special workshop for Girl Scouts of all ages. Learn all about how to grow fruits, flowers and even your own food. Build your own bug motel for pollinators, make seed bombs and create imaginative artwork from all-natural materials. $22 pp includes your badges, programs from 9AM - 12PM, plus all-day park admission; no charge for 2 leaders/troop; parents and siblings pay applicable park admission, only.  All participants are encouraged to bring a laptop for editing. All are invited to pack a lunch and picnic under the palapa. Space is limited. Please register online here, at weeks two weeks before the event. For more information call 956.583.5400.


Saturday, April 7: Earn your great OUTDOORS badge at the National Butterfly Center, where Brownies - Ambassadors are invited to participate in our OVERNIGHT event. Camp is anchored by our Metamorphosis Teepee, where you may hold your own midnight council meeting, over hot chocolate and s'mores.  Brownies may earn Hiker, Juniors may earn Camper, Cadettes may earn Trailblazing and Night Owl badges, and Seniors may earn Adventurer, in this special opportunity to gain skills and spend the night under the south Texas stars.  $25 pp includes badge(s), programs from 6:30PM - 7:30AM.  Tents, food, and camping supplies not included. Space is extremely limited for this awesome experience, and this event will sell out, quickly. Please register online here, at weeks two weeks before the event. For more information call 956.583.5400. 


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Join the Annual North American Butterfly Count July 21 at the National Butterfly Center

(Mission, TX) Each July, volunteers across the country brave the sweltering summer sun to count butterflies. The data these citizen-conservationists gather provides a valuable, real-time snapshot for scientists, naturalists, and anyone concerned about environmental change, habitat loss, and disappearing or endangered species.

Why Count?

First, the counts are open to everyone, from beginner to expert, and provide community members the opportunity to work for a common cause. During the counts, everyone gains something from the exchange of knowledge and time spent, together, observing these beautiful creatures. Second, these annual counts, in established geographical circles, help scientists capture and document the dynamic nature of butterfly populations. Over long periods of time, patterns may be discovered and inferences drawn that will benefit both humans and wildlife on the ever-changing planet we share.

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Hidalgo County District Clerk Staff Donates $3,200 to the National Butterfly Center

(Edinburg, TX) Hidalgo County District Clerk Staff presented a check today totalling $3,200 to the National Butterfly Center as part of their Blues for Bucks Workplace Fundraising Campaign to benefit local charitable organizations.

Located in Mission, Texas, near the Rio Grande River, the National Butterfly Center is committed to connecting people, plants, and the “winged wonders” that pollinate and propagate all the grows around us. The Center showcases live animals and plants, in wild and cultivated settings, with educational exhibits to enhance understanding and appreciation of butterflies in healthy, sustainable ecosystems.

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We are grateful for the support of:

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Inside the National Butterfly Center

Hours of Operation

September - March
8:00 - 5:00

April - August
8:00 - 5:00

Come See Us

National Butterfly Center
3333 Butterfly Park Drive
Mission, TX 78572
GPS Coordinates:
26.180243 -98.364973

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