Events

NOTICE: In-Person Events Limited Due to COVID

In-person MDC events and programs at our nature centers, shooting ranges, and other locations around the state are limited due to COVID-19 considerations. MDC is offering new online programs that allow people to attend virtually. Please check our class listings to see what classes are limited, in-person classes or virtual classes.

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Register by April 22

Date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 3:30pm to 4:00pm

Location: Virtual

Do you enjoy sharing your photos of nature with others? Are you looking for a way to enhance your nature sightings or become better with native species ID? Looking for a way for your family to contribute to citizen science? Then iNaturalist is for you! Join staff for an in-depth look at the free smartphone app iNatualist, what it does for the science community, and how you can use it to enhance your experiences in nature. This event is part of an ongoing series in April. Participants must have the app pre-downloaded on their phone or be capable of visiting the iNaturalist website to properly engage in this program.

- In this portion of the series we will present a “how-to” with us logging observations in live time on iPhone and Android. We will also detail how to upload a photo to the main website from a computer if you choose to use a point and shoot or DLSR camera.

Register by April 23

Date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Fishing is a great way for kids and families to have fun outdoors, learn about conservation, and make happy memories. Our Discover Nature-Fishing program is a hands on, four-part fishing instruction series that helps families gain the skills and confidence they need to go fishing on their own.
This program will cover the Discover Nature-Fishing Lessons 1 and 2, which are prerequisites to Lessons 3 and 4 (hosted at a later date). Participants will learn about fishing equipment, casting, rigging a fishing rod, baiting a hook, and proper fish handling. The Discover Nature-Fishing program is available for ages 7 and up. We will be hosting this program at the North County Park Lake at pavilion #3 at 4:00 PM, and it is expected to last until 7:00 PM. Participants will not be required to have a valid fishing license for this program.

Register by April 23

Date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Ages 11 and up
Join naturalists at Rockwoods Reservation on a hike through the woods to find and identify common mushrooms. Spring is great time to find mushrooms in Missouri, including the coveted morel! Participants will learn how to identify edible mushrooms, such as the morel, and other common mushrooms. Must be able to hike 1.5 miles with a 200 foot elevation gain.
For the safety of participants and our staff, MDC asks all guests to observe social distancing guidelines and maintain at least 6 feet from others. Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when indoors, or any time visitors are unable to maintain at least 6 feet from others. Local ordinances requiring face masks will be observed where applicable.

Register by April 23

Date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: Virtual

With April showers bring May flowers and the perfect time to learn about Missouri wildflowers. Join us for 4th Friday family conservation fun by exploring flowers inside and out while discovering why they are important to wildlife. During this program we will discuss basic flower anatomy and create some easy floral artwork. All ages but recommended for 5 and above. Registration is required with a valid email address to receive the program link.

Register by April 23

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 8:00am to 11:00am

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Join us for a morning of birding, hiking, and nature study at Big Spring (part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways) in Van Buren, MO. We will begin our adventure in the parking lot near the old lodge, and hike through the diverse areas along the Current River and nearby Big Spring. Bring your binoculars and be ready to see lots of migrating bird species and local avian residents.

Meeting time/locations:
Twin Pines parking lot by 8:00 a.m. - will caravan over to Big Spring from here (or)
Big Spring Lodge parking lot at 8:30 a.m.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 8:00am to 9:30am

Location: August A Busch Shooting Range

This program is designed as a basic course to provide family's an opportunity to become familiar with shooting. It is required to register each member of your family. We will provide .22 caliber handguns and rifles and ammunition for them to shoot. There will be a short class covering safety, parts of a firearm, and fundamentals of marksmanship. Due to time constraints we will not have any time to provide individuals an opportunity to shoot their own firearms.

Register by April 23

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Put on your hiking shoes and travel to Clifty Creek Conservation Area near Dixon in Maries County to join a guided hike. Trail: 3-4 miles-moderate. Meet at the Runge Nature Center and follow the hike leaders to the location or meet at the trailhead. Hike leaders will contact participants before the hike to give directions. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, and pack a lunch/snack. Masks are required. Registration Required. Ages 18 and up.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 8:30am to 11:30am

Location: Andy Dalton Shooting Range

This program is designed for the beginning shotgun shooter. We will talk about firearm safety, the parts of the shotgun, how to load, fire, and unload the firearm, and how to safely shoot the shotgun. Space is limited to 15 students. INFORMATION: COVID-19 continues to impact daily operations at all MDC facilities including in-person programs and education classes. Protocols are now in place to provide safety for students and staff including:
• Only pre-registered students and staff are allowed in the classroom
• All staff are required to wear a facemask and practice social distancing
• All students are encouraged to wear a facemask and must practice social distancing
• All students will be asked to use hand sanitizer when arriving and prior to handling firearms
Everyone will be asked self-certification questions related to COVID-19. If you answer yes to any of the following self-certification questions, you should NOT attend.
• Do you, or a person you live with, have:
o A temperature of 100.4°F or higher, OR
o Two or more of the following: chills, new loss of taste or smell, or unexplained body aches, headache, or sore throat, OR
o One or more of the following: dry, non-productive cough (new onset or worsening of chronic cough), shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?
• If you have traveled outside of Missouri, did you have contact with anyone known to have COVID-19 or visit an area with high incident of COVID-19?
• Have you come into contact with anyone who has been sick?
• In the last two weeks, did you care for or have close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
Please self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before attending the program and stay home if you are exhibiting symptoms.
All in-person classes are subject to cancelation or postponement due to COVID-19. If you decide that you are not going to attend the program, please remove yourself from the registration roster online so others may have the opportunity since space is limited. If you have any questions, please contact the lead instructor listed for this session. Thank you.

Register by April 11

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 8:30am to 10:30am

Location: Lake City Shooting Range

Skeet is a great way to improve your skills with the shotgun. This program is for those who have little to no experience with shotguns or want to move onto a new game. We’ll cover safety, appropriate firearms and ammunition, rules of the game, etiquette on the field, and field layout. Firearms and ammunition will be provided, or you may bring your own.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Forest Park Hatchery

Lesson 1: This lesson must be taken before any of the other Discover Nature Fishing lessons 2-4.
Participants will learn parts of a fishing pole, how to properly and safely cast a spin-cast fishing pole, how to fasten basic fishing tackle, and how to properly handle and release a fish.
Lesson 2: Participants will learn intermediate fishing techniques and skills as well as hands-on fishing. Participants will be taught how to tie an improved clinch knot and how to properly secure a variety of baits to various kinds of hooks.
All fishing gear will be provided by the instructors. Please wear clothing suitable for outdoor and water activities. Face masks are required at all time during the program. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This program is for anyone 6 years old and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Register by April 17

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: East Central College

Be sure to call East Central College at 636-649-5803 to confirm registration and to pay required fee to cover ECC administrative costs.

Are you an adult that has never shot a bow and arrow before and you’re not sure how to get started? Or maybe you did when you were young, but never pursued the activity any further. Learn the basics of shooting the bow and arrow utilizing some of the techniques and methods that have been adopted by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). This course is for those 11 years of age or older with the desire to shoot a bow and arrow, but have little or no experience. Learn archery shooting fundamentals while gaining knowledge about equipment options and choices. Note: All equipment will be provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Not recommended for adults with shoulder or back injuries.
* Classes will be CANCELLED if we encounter inclement weather — rain or heat (temps more than 90 degrees)

Register at least one week prior to the start of class to avoid class cancellations
• Saturday, April 24, 2021
• 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
• COST: $10 each to cover administrative costs

Thanks!

Register by April 24

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Cape LaCroix Creek

The nature center is partnering with the Cape Girardeau Parks & Recreation Department to clean up Cape LaCroix Creek during their annual Park Day. Gather your friends, family, or organization to help bring the beauty back to the creek between Walden Park and Shawnee Sports Complex. We’ll meet at the 4-H Shelter in Arena Park to divide and conquer. Youth and adult groups are welcome. The deadline for ordering T-shirts has passed.

Please remember to practice social distancing.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 10:00am to 3:00pm

Location: Lake Remembrance - Gregory O. Grounds Park

Walk-in (all ages)
There are numerous opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy nature in Blue Springs! The Missouri Department of Conservation is partners with Blue Springs and Jackson County Parks and Recreation to offer this celebration of the outdoors in our community. The event will be held at Lake Remembrance on Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Activities include: kayaking, fishing, wild edible plants, birding, outdoor yoga, archery, outdoor cooking and so much more! There will be something for all ages. Call 816-228-3766 for more information.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Runge Nature Center Staff Volunteers are somewhere along the trails ready to explore a seasonal nature topic with you! Trail station locations and topics are different every Saturday as nature always has something new to offer. Visit the Runge building to get a trail map and hints about where the volunteers may be found. This is not a formal program; stop by anytime between the designated exploration station hours. Masks required. No registration required. All ages.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 10:00am to 1:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

DRIVE-THRU (all ages) Want to incorporate some native plants into your landscape? The Discovery Center will host a drive-thru native plant and tree give away. Participants may come anytime between the scheduled program hours and should remain in their vehicles while the Discovery Center staff bring the plants and trees to you. This is a free program and quantities are limited.

Register by April 24

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Aliens are invading Runge! Although they are green, this alien is not from another planet, but from the other side of OUR planet. Garlic mustard is a aggressive invasive plant that may take over the forest floor, preventing many native plants from flourishing. Help us eradicate this unwanted plant and earn your very own native wildflower to plant in your yard. Please wear long pants and shoes that can get dirty. Gloves will be provided. Masks are required to attend this program. Registration Required. Ages 7-12 years.

Register by April 23

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Virtual

Hopping down the bunny trail comes Missouri’s own rabbit! But what do they eat? Where do they live? Why in the world do they have such big ears? Join us to answer these questions and discover more about cottontail rabbits. Registration is required with a valid email address to receive the program link. Recommended for ages 3 to 7.

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (ages 2+)
Join us for story hour as we lead you on fantastic nature adventures! We will meet birds, mammals and all sorts of magnificent creatures! We will cross rivers, discover mysteries within the forest and fly across the prairies. Our imaginations are the only limits.

Register by April 24

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Garlic mustard is a aggressive invasive plant that may take over the forest floor, preventing many native plants from flourishing. Join us at Runge to help remove this destructive invasive species and earn your very own native wildflower to plant in your yard. Wear long pants and shoes that can get dirty. Gloves will be provided. Masks are required. Registration Required. All Ages.

Register by April 23

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Rockwoods Reservation

Come spend a beautiful spring afternoon hiking in Rockwoods Reservation. We should be able to see and identify many native wildflowers and flowering trees. You will also see how “Wise Use” over the past 83 years has transformed Rockwoods into an amazing place. For the safety of participants and our staff, participants will be asked to maintain social distance from staff and other participants, and follow St. Louis County mask mandates.
Must be able to hike 1.5 miles with a 200 foot elevation gain.

Register by April 22

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

Enjoy the sights and sounds of a spring evening as we take a leisurely walk to the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Notice the budding trees and the green new growth as it pushes up along the path. Smell the spring air and listen for the sounds of birds nesting in the trees and frogs and toads in the wet areas. In the event we are not able to walk to the confluence because of high water in the rivers and the bottomland near them, we walk the road along the upper fields. Dress for the weather and wear boots or shoes that can get muddy.

Bring a water bottle and a walking stick if you have one. We will be wearing masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

Meet at lot “L”, about 4 miles from the entrance.

Register by April 23

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 7:00pm to 9:45pm

Location: St. Louis Regional Office/Busch Memorial CA

Witness a “marsh concert” presented by the toads and frogs of Missouri. Join us for an evening out on the levees at the Marias Temps Clair Conservation Area. We will learn how to identify toads and frogs by their calls. Bring a small flashlight, water, snacks, and dress for the weather. This event will be held at Marais Temp Claire Conservation Area. We will follow St. Charles County recommendations regarding masks and social distancing.

Register by April 24

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

We will grab a net and hop to the pond. Learn the amazing features of frogs and toads. Discover what sets them apart and explore their natural habitat. Fun is just a hop and a jump away! All ages welcome.

Please remember to practice social distancing.

Register by April 23

Date: Sunday, April 25, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Emmenegger Nature Park

This will not be a typical map and compass class.

Participants will gain skill in reading specialized maps and clue sheets to navigate through natural terrain to locate distinctive flags with the aid of a compass.

Orienteering is an international sport that can be both competitive and fun!

No prior experience is needed. All materials, tools, and guidance will be provided.

Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult who will also be participating.

This program will take place completely outdoors and will be cancelled in the event of rain.

Coronavirus safety protocols will be used. Space is limited to ensure safe social distancing, so sign up early. Instructors will be wearing masks, participants must be free from symptoms of illness, must not have had contact with any person who has symptoms of illness within two weeks, and are strongly encouraged to wear a covering over mouth and nose.

Register by April 22

Date: Sunday, April 25, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: Emmenegger Nature Park

This will not be a typical map and compass class.

Participants will gain skill in reading specialized maps and clue sheets to navigate through natural terrain to locate distinctive flags with the aid of a compass.

Orienteering is an international sport that can be both competitive and fun!

No prior experience is needed. All materials, tools, and guidance will be provided.

Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult who will also be participating.

This program will take place completely outdoors and will be cancelled in the event of rain.

Coronavirus safety protocols will be used. Space is limited to ensure safe social distancing, so sign up early. Instructors will be wearing masks, participants must be free from symptoms of illness, must not have had contact with any person who has symptoms of illness within two weeks, and are strongly encouraged to wear a covering over mouth and nose.

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