Kansas City, Mo. – Missouri’s rich outdoor legacy – past and present – will be available for a hands-on learning experience at Heritage Day. The free event offers nature and outdoor skills activities from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., in Kansas City.
Demonstrations, crafts and music will all be part of the event sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Volunteers and MDC staff will help visitors try out skills such as archery, fire starting, orienteering and more. That includes ancient skills such as throwing darts with the atlatl, a primitive hunting tool enjoying a comeback among outdoor folks who enjoy a challenge. Presentations will be given on historic traditions such as flint knapping or writing with quill ink pens made from feathers. Experts will talk about edible wild plants, wild game and the plants found in the region by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Visitors are welcome to walk in during the event and move between the activity stations. Gorman Discovery Center has indoor classrooms and an extensive outdoor garden with native plants. Flowers such as Virginia bluebells are blooming in the woodland eco-niche. Prairie plants that received a healthy prescribed fire earlier this month are greening up thanks to recent rains.
Families are welcome to enjoy the center’s natural outdoor play area with stacked logs to climb on, boulders, hollowed out tree sections to crawl through and limbs for stacking and making “hideouts.”
Michael Fraser and Tenley Hansen of the Shortleaf Band will play traditional acoustic music. Professional storyteller Molly Postlewait will give a presentation on the Underground Railroad in the Civil War era.
For information about the event or the Gorman Discovery Center, call 816-759-7300 or go to mdc.mo.gov/DISCOVERYCENTER.