It's A Natural!

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Published on: May. 2, 2002

Last revision: Nov. 12, 2010

be without them? Join insect specialists for an evening devoted to discovering insects. Bring your entire family and participate in some creepy, crawly fun! Open to all ages. No registration required.

Primitive Skills Day - October 13, 1-5 p.m. - See demonstrations of flint knapping, bow and arrow construction, basketry, hide-tanning, making cordage out of plant fibers, beadwork and fire making by some of the Ozarks' best primitive skills specialists. Open to all ages. No registration required.

Halloween Happening - October 24 or October 25, 6-9 p.m. - Get ready for some nighttime fun and surprises on this guided Halloween hike. You'll learn fun facts and meet interesting characters along the way. Be prepared for entertaining and extraordinary sights-but no frights. Open to all ages. No registration required.

Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center is nestled in the center of 1,100 acres of forest, glade, prairie, ponds, open fields, creeks and savannas. This jewel is a haven for wildlife and those interested in viewing that wildlife.

White-tailed deer can be seen at dusk and dawn almost daily in the fall, winter and early spring. Kids delight at seeing flocks of wild turkeys in the fields and around the nature center. Lizards, raccoons and an unusual assortment of songbirds complete the picture of this wild mecca. You can comfortably watch wildlife from inside the nature center. The Wildlife Viewing Room has large windows for observing chickadees, cardinals, titmice, nuthatches, finches and an array of woodpeckers.

Pack a lunch and enjoy one of the area's two sack-lunch pavilions. Walking one of the five hiking trails, the visitor will soon forget the stresses of urban life. Two of the trails are paved; one of them is fully disabled-accessible. The three remaining trails are wood-chipped and lead you through the forest and over waterways. Wooden overlooks provide spectacular vistas. The Bethany Falls Trail is rated the finest hiking trail in the Kansas City area. This 1.3-mile trail winds through massive Bethany Falls limestone outcrops and is a treat for those visiting eastern Jackson County.

The nature center contains a 3,000-gallon aquarium filled with native fish and reptiles. Hands-on exhibits enthrall youngsters of all ages. Conservation programs for all ages are offered at the nature center and a monthly newsletter is free to all who subscribe. For those who want to give back to the community, the nature center and Conservation Area offer various volunteer opportunities. Conservation and educational items are available in the center's gift shop to take home the memories of the day's adventure. Just 20 minutes east of Kansas City, Burr Oak Woods welcomes the weary and rejuvenates their spirit.

Burr Oak Woods Programs

Prairie Day - June 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Experience what life was like on the prairie in the mid-1800s. Hear the story of the buffalo soldiers and their role in the westward expansion, walk through the Missouri Freetrappers encampment, play old time games, learn about herbs, ride a wooden wagon drawn by a team of horses through the prairie and meet noted author Laura Ingalls Wilder. See and touch live animals, learn about the prairies of today and what you can do to help this important habitat. Enjoy a free lunch of prairie dogs and buffalo chips while listening to old-time fiddlers and watching cloggers. Prairie Day has something for everyone.

Burr Oak Woods 20th Anniversary Blow Out - October 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - You've never been to a birthday party like this one. We will have games, activities and balloons, and Smokey Bear will be here to help us celebrate. On Burr Oak Woods' 20th anniversary, we're going to kick loose and have some fun. You'll enjoy yourself and learn a lot. What better way to observe the spirit of a conservation nature center!

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