Interested in attending a workshop, visiting an overwintering site, or taking the family to a festival? Check out this page for the latest monarch-related events in California. You can also join our Facebook page, which may list additional events. If you would like us to add your event, please send us an email.

2019 Online Volunteer Training for the WMTC

Title: Volunteer Training for the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count

Presenters: Emma Pelton, Conservation Biologist, Western Monarch Lead and Katie Hietala-Henschell, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist

Date recorded: August 28th, 2019

Description: Learn about Xerces’ Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count (WMTC) and how to become a volunteer. This training module provides a brief overview of the monarch life cycle, migration, and decline in the West. Join us to learn how to survey overwintering monarchs as we walk through the Monarch Count Data Sheet and the Habitat Assessment Form for overwintering monarchs and sites in California.

The volunteer training can be found at: and is called “Volunteer Training for the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count”

It can be also be found at this YouTube link:

Or you can visit The Xerces Society YouTube Channel at: Select “Playlists”, under playlists select “Monarch Conservation”, monarch conservation videos will appear on the right side of the screen where you can select “Volunteer Training for the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count”

Monarch Count Presentation – GCV Volunteer Educational Event

LocationThe Sandbox, 414 Olive Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Date & Time: Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 from 6:00-8:00 pm

Description: The monarch overwintering season is fast approaching! Learn all about the Xerces Society and the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count (WMTC) with Jessica Griffiths, Charis van der Heide, and the Gaviota Coast Volunteers (GCV). This presentation will focus on monarch biology, overwintering habitat, and the count.


Monarch Site Observer Training

Location: Ardenwood, Fremont, CA 94555

Date & Time: Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 from 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Description: You can help protect monarchs! Become a Community Scientist, trained by monarch experts to count and record observations at one or more overwintering sites in the East Bay. Field practice in the morning, followed by in-depth classroom training. Led by Chris Garcia ([email protected]).

This event is free and for ages 18+. Registration is required, click here or call, 510-544-3282, for more information and to register for the Monarch Site Observer Training (23021).

Western Monarch Count Training

Location: Pacific Grove Monarch Sanctuary,  250 Ridge Rd., Pacific Grove, CA 93950 (meet in the parking lot on Ridge Road, in-between the adult school and motel)

Date & Time: Sunday, November 4th, 2018 from 8:00 – 10:00 am

Description: Please join a 2 hour training led by Jessica Griffiths, San Luis Obispo Regional Coordinator, to learn about the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count and how to become a volunteer. If interested, please RSVP to Nick Stong, Monterey County Regional Coordinator, at [email protected]

Monarch Counting Field Training for Volunteers – NEW LOCATION!

Location: Carpinteria Creek, 5400 6th St, Carpinteria, CA 93013 (meet in the parking lot of the preschool)

Date & Time: Saturday, November 10th 2018 from 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Description: Join Charis van der Heide, Santa Barbara Regional Coordinator, for a monarch counting field training. Charis will focus on the monarch count protocol and habitat assessment. Please bring binoculars (10×42), a notebook, and if you have time to review the Step-by-Step Monitoring Guide and Data Sheet/Protocol before the training that would be great. Please contact Charis at [email protected] for more information and to RSVP.

Last Monarch Tour of the Season

Monarch Bay Golf Course, 13800 Monarch Bay Drive, San Leandro, CA 94577

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

Led by: Adrienne DuPonte

Join Adrienne for a family friendly program to learn about monarchs. Over 8,000 monarchs were seen in late November this year. Participants must register and there is a fee for this program. To learn more click here. Register through the San Leandro Recreation and Human Services Department by calling 510-577-3462.


Welcome Back Monarchs Day

Natural Bridges State Park, 2531 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Led by: California Department of Parks and Recreation

For more information, click here.

Monarch Butterfly Training

Alameda Main Library, 1550 Oak St., Alameda, CA 94501

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Led by: Susan Ramos, the National Park Service, and the Xerces Society

Discover the fascinating lives of monarch butterflies! Learn the latest research about their migration, food, and habitat. Find out how to help in your backyard and beyond. Training to census monarchs coming in November.

For more information, click here.

2nd Annual Monarch Butterfly Walk

Rob Hill Campground 1475 Central Magazine Rd., San Francisco, CA 94129

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Led by: Mia Monroe of the National Park Service and Rebekah Berkov of the Presidio Trust

Meet at Rob Hill Campground for the Second Annual Monarch Butterfly Walk to learn about the monarch butterfly, its amazing migration, and why the presidio is part of a network of sites on the California coast where monarchs can be seen in the winter. The walk will showcase the monarch’s Day of the Dead orange and black coloration, deeply embedded in Meso-American symbology! The program will conclude with viewing a short video of the monarch butterfly.

There will be light walking, so dress for hiking and variable weather. Bring your binoculars.

For more information and to register for this free event, click here.


Monarch Site Observer Training

Ardenwood, East Bay Regional Park District 

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Led by: Chris Garcia

Become a Community Scientist and receive training from monarch experts to count and records observations at one or more overwintering sites throughout the East Bay.

This event is free and registration is required. For more information, click here (Course number: 18995) or call (510) 544-3282.

Monarch Butterfly Thanksgiving Count Volunteer Training

Sperling Parking lot, Goleta, CA 93117* 

Saturday, November 11th from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Led by: Charis van der Heide

Join Charis for an introduction and training for the 2017 Thanksgiving Count. Sign up to count monarchs at a site(s) near you. Please bring binoculars (typical birding binoculars a good, 8×42) and a notebook to the training.

For more information, click here.

*Location may change, please register with Charis van der Heide at [email protected] for updates

Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count

November 11th – December 3, 2017

The Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count (WMTC) is an annual volunteer effort to collect data on monarch populations that overwinter along the California coast. To learn more and to become a volunteer see our Step-by-Step Monitoring guide!

Two-day Monarch Butterfly Monitoring Workshop

San Diego, California

Saturday, November 4th, 2017 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday, November 5th, 2017 from 9:00 am – Noon

Led by: Sarina Jepsen, Paige Howorth, Charis van der Heide, and Joanna Gilkeson

This is a two-day training event. The workshop will cover standardized overwintering monarch counting and overwintering site habitat assessment protocol used by the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count, a variety of monarch butterfly citizen science programs, and will encourage collaboration among monarch butterfly enthusiasts and biologists for long-term monitoring efforts in California.

For more information and to register, click here; registration is for both days.

Monarch Count Training

Monarch Grove Sanctuary, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

8:00 am – 10:00 am

Led by: Jessica Griffiths, local biologist who works closely with the Museum, Xerces, and the Ventana Wildlife Society.

Join Jessica for a monarch count training in the sanctuary. The training is required if you are interested in participating in the WMTC (Nov. 11-Dec. 3), but is open to any museum volunteer who is interested.

Please bring a clipboard, pen/pencil, and binoculars and dress warm. Contact Nick Stong ([email protected]) if you have questions.

Monarchs Matter

Santa Barbara Land Trust, 1528 Chapala, SB 93101 Room 301

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Led by: Charis van der Heide

Discover the monarchs long journey spanning multiple generations and the habitat they are looking for when they arrive. Learn about the local and regional western monarch butterfly population, existing threats, and measures that that are being used for their protection.

Please bring a lunch and RSVP to Jennifer Stroh at [email protected]

For more information, click here.

Western Monarch New Year’s Count

December 30th, 2017 – January 14th, 2018

We are excited to expand monitoring efforts to include a second monarch overwintering count. This will be the first year of the Western Monarch New Year’s Count (WMNYC). To learn more and to become a volunteer see our Step-by-Step Monitoring Guide!


Monarch Butterfly Orientation

Location: Harbor Vista Building in the Granada Community Services District Board Room, 504 Avenue Alhambra, El Granada, CA 94018

Date & Time: Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 10:30 to 11:30 am

Description: Join Green Foothills at a Monarch Butterfly Orientation. As monarch numbers have dropped over the years, we are working to protect the Dunes Beach area that would assist with offering more habitat. Learn what you can do on a daily basis to save these magical creatures as well as assisting in the fall/winter with the annual butterfly count.

For more information and to register for this free event, click here.