Monarch Tagging in Des Moines

Monarch Tagging in Des Moines

Des Moines Monarch Tagging 2019

Early fall is the time of year to tag monarchs. There are several programs and events happening in the Des Moines area so you and your family can learn why people tag monarchs, how to do it and actually do it yourself. Take a look at this list of monarch tagging in Des Moines.

NOTE: We will continue to update this post as more monarch tagging events are announced.

Monarch Tagging events and activities in Des Moines, Iowa.

Butterflies and Brews

Peace Tree – Des Moines

Sunday, September 1

2 to 6 p.m. 

This family-friendly event will be held on the patio at Peace Tree – Des Moines Branch.

Live Monarchs! Activities for all ages! Learn to build a pollinator garden! Make your own seed balls to take home! Face painting! Plant or seed giveaways from Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.

Reiman Gardens

Saturday, September 7

10 a.m. to Noon

Come out to Reiman Gardens to learn from the experts about why we tag monarchs, how to track them, and tag your very own monarch that you can follow on Monarch Watch. In case of rain, the event will be canceled. LIMIT: one monarch per person.

$2 Members, ISU Students
$12 General Public (includes admission)

Monarch Tagging

As part of Monarch education and conservation, tagging events will be held at various parks. Learn about Monarch Butterflies and their migration patterns, then help tag some butterflies. Monarchs will be captured, tagged with a special identification sticker and released to continue on their journey. The event is free and no registration is required. Everyone is invited to join in and help.

They will meet at Christine Hensley Terrace at the Southwest entrance to the park.

Full schedule:
• Sept. 5 at Union Park @ 10:30 a.m.
• Sept. 9 at Franklin Library Storytime @ 10:15 a.m.
• Sept. 11 at Greenwood Park (Sylvan Theater) @10:30 a.m.
• Sept. 12 at Franklin Community Garden (shelter East of gardens) @ 10:30 a.m. and North Side Library @ 3:30 p.m.
• Sept. 13 at Gray’s Lake (Terrace) @10:30 a.m.
• Sept. 16 at Franklin Library @10 a.m.
• Sept. 17 at Central Library @ 6:30 p.m.

Monarch Madness

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, September 14

8:30 to 11 a.m.

Calling citizen scientists of all ages! Neal Smith NWR is looking for volunteers to assist Refuge staff in capturing, tagging, and releasing monarch butterflies. Tagging monarchs helps scientists learn more about their fascinating migration. Pre-registration is required and limited to the first 100 participants. Contact Doreen at 515-994-3400 or email

Warren County Conservation

Saturday, September 18 at 1 p.m. at Annet Nature Center

Saturday, September 14 at 1 p.m. at Buxton Park

Come discover more about monarch butterflies, their unusual lifestyle, life cycle and their miraculous migration to Mexico. A Warren County Conservation Naturalist will teach you how to catch and handle a monarch, determine gender, and properly tag them in the wild as part of a national research project. All monarchs will be released after they are tagged. Bring a butterfly net if you have one, or share a park net if you don’t. Fun for the whole family! Please register at

Monarch Festival 

Blank Park Zoo

Sunday, September 15; Noon to 4 p.m. 

The Monarch Festival will highlight the miraculous migration of the monarch butterfly and will offer everything from traditional Mexican dancing, monarch tagging and crafts and activities for the whole family. We will even have a Bug Parade, so dress the kids up in their favorite insect costume!

**All of these events are also listed on our extensive Des Moines Parent event calendar.

Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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