Conservation Education

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Nature Activity

Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center

  • What: Joplin’s Wildcat Park
  • Features: 10,400-square-foot nature center, three classrooms, a large public hall, a network of trails, educational programs, interactive exhibits including a 300-gallon chert glade ecology terrarium and a 1,300-gallon aquarium
  • Upcoming program: Grand Opening and Groovin’ at the Glades Family Day on Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • For more info on activities: (417) 629-3423

If you’ve dreamed of visiting one of the planet’s rarest landscapes, look no further than southwest Missouri. The chert glades of Joplin’s Wildcat Park are the last of their kind on earth. This summer, Audubon Missouri, the City of Joplin and the Missouri Department of Conservation have been hard at work building a new nature center dedicated to conserving them.

Welcome the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center to Missouri’s collection of nature-education facilities at Groovin’ at the Glades on Saturday, Sept. 8. Enjoy exhibits, activities and programs about southwest Missouri’s rare and wonderful natural history. These activities are free and open to the public.

Two WOW Schools This Fall

Kansas City and Roaring River State Park

Don’t let inexperience keep your family from getting outdoors this fall. Register for one of two upcoming WOW National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Schools. The first happens at Kansas City’s Swope Park, Sept. 21–22. Families will learn a range of outdoor activities, from camping to canoeing. Kids 5 to 8 years old can participate in a special “Kids’ Camp.” Tents, food, T-shirts, all activities and Saturday’s transportation are provided. Cost is $25 per family of up to six or $10 per individual. For more information, call (816) 759-7305, ext. 2263. The second and largest school happens at Roaring River State Park, Oct. 5–8. This school includes outdoor skills classes for both the novice and the experienced, with a Saturday evening barbecue and auction to benefit future WOW school programs. Call Wonders of Wildlife at (877) 245-9453 or see links listed below for further details.

Field Trip Grants

250 schools are awarded more than $100,000.

In his book, Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv avers that today’s children suffer from “nature-deficit disorder.” As an antidote, Missouri Department of Conservation Field Trip Grants help educators get more kids into nature. In 2007, 308 Conservation Field Trip grants totaling $100,119.85 enabled 250 schools to take students to nature-related locations. In April, Kathy Wray of Archie R-V took her students to Lost Valley Fish Hatchery. “This field trip provided a great learning experience for all!” she said. To apply for 2008 funding, see links listed below.

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