It's A Natural!

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Published on: May. 2, 2002

Last revision: Nov. 12, 2010

tie flies, cast a spinning or fly rod, select bait and fillet a fish. Vulture Venture is a unique event held on the last weekend of February. It highlights the often misunderstood black and turkey vultures which roost by the hundreds along Lake Taneycomo. Visitors get to see a live vulture presentation, participate in vulture games and observe roosting vultures through spotting scopes. The Conservation Center also provides monthly programs or projects that are announced in local newspapers. For more information, contact:

Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center, 483 Hatchery Road, Branson, MO 65616, (417) 334-4865, <shepherdvc@mdc.mo.gov>.

Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Located in southeast Springfield, just west of the busy US-60/US-65 interchange, the Springfield Conservation Nature Center offers the peace and quiet of an Ozark forest amid the hectic pace of the city. Here, the sounds of traffic and smells of asphalt give way to bird calls and the earthy fragrance of damp leaves.

Visitors can enjoy three miles of hiking trails meandering through 80 acres of forests, glades and wetlands. Boardwalks and bridges allow passage across marshy areas where turtles and frogs abound and provide scenic views of Galloway Creek, Lake Springfield, and limestone bluffs adorned by ferns and wildflowers. The area features a restored savanna and limestone glade, allowing visitors a glimpse of what the area looked like before settlement.

Programs and guided hikes offered year-round allow visitors to learn more about conservation and nature. From hands-on programs designed to introduce toddlers to the wonders of nature to instructional programs for adults on how to backpack, hunt or fish, there's something for everyone at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

A Conservation Kids Club designed for children ages 7 to 12 and a Conservation TEEN club for ages 12 to 17 keep youngsters coming back, while special events draw large numbers of families who enjoy experiencing nature together.

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center area is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. from March 1 to Oct. 31, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the year. The building is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round. The area and building are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. For more information about the nature center and its programs, call (417) 888-4237.

Springfield Programs

Insect-O-Rama - August 23, 7-9 p.m. - Insects both fascinate and "bug" us, but what would a summer evening

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