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Find Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education classes near you.

Registration period: September 17 - October 19
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 10:00 am - Tuesday, October 19, 2021 10:30 am
Location: Online only

Everyone loves a good story, and we have plenty of them here at the nature center! You and your little one can watch and listen as our Naturalist reads a couple nature stories. This program is designed for children 0-6 years of age, but is open to all ages.

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.
Registration period: September 17 - October 19
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:00 pm - Tuesday, October 19, 2021 1:00 pm
Location: Online only

Fall colors are a natural highlight on the Missouri landscape every year. Join us for an in-depth look at why trees change, what makes a more colorful year, more! This program is open to all ages but is most appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.
Registration period: September 17 - October 20
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:00 am - Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:30 am
Location: Online only

Skunks, spiders, and snakes, oh my! These not-so-spooky animals may have an undeserved, bad reputation but we’ll take a closer look and find out the important roles that they play in nature. We will get to meet a variety of misunderstood animals in this virtual program.

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address to receive a link to the virtual program.

Registration period: September 17 - October 21
Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021 2:00 pm - Thursday, October 21, 2021 3:30 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Whether you are backpacking, camping, or at a backyard cookout, food just tastes better when it’s cooked outside! We will learn how to cook outside safely and practice a variety of different techniques before tasting our hard-earned rewards.
Registration period: September 17 - October 22
Date: Friday, October 22, 2021 2:00 pm - Friday, October 22, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Online only

Managing a pond or lake can be a full time job. Whether you manage it for fish, amphibians, visual appeal, or to provide a healthy body of water for wildlife in the area, there are endless methods to improve it, and starting with a good plant community may be your first big step. Join native plants enthusiast Jamie Koehler to learn about several native aquatic plants to help you manage your pond or lake to reach your desired goals.

This program is virtual and will be more appropriate for ages 16 and up, though anyone is welcome.

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address to receive a link to the virtual program.
Registration period: September 24 - October 23
Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, October 23, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Holly Ridge Conservation Area
Holly Ridge has some beautiful habitats and this time of year they are spectacular. There are several trails and loops available, we will explore about 3.5 miles. Bring your lunch if you wish and explore more trails in the afternoon. Meet us in Parking Lot C off of County Rd 517 near Bloomfield. Wear good hiking shoes and weather appropriate clothing. You may wish to bring your walking stick if you are accustomed to one, refillable water bottle, bug spray, and snacks. This is a relatively easy hike with slight changes in elevation.
Registration period: July 23 - August 21
Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021 11:00 am - Saturday, October 23, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Come and meet the Missouri Department of Conservation's newest team member in the southeast region. This team member has highly specialized skills and abilities that no one else possesses. He also has four paws, fur, and a nose that is 40 times better than ours! You might say MDC has gone to the dogs. K9-Tex and his handler Corporal Alan Lamb will be at the nature center to explain and show what it is they do to help protect wildlife. Tex will also show off his amazing nose and ability to detect scent.

Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021 5:00 pm - Saturday, October 23, 2021 8:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Help us celebrate the spookiest time of year with a not-so-spooky event perfect for all ages. Show up wearing your costume and take a stroll down our short Trek N’ Treat trail where you’ll meet our creature-characters who will teach you all about Missouri’s most helpful, but often most misunderstood, creepy crawlies. Bring your treat bucket because after you learn a little about each character they love to hand out treats! The nature center will be alive with games, activities, a squirmy-wormy zoo, and crafts which will surely make you scream (with joy). Face coverings are encouraged during all times where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Registration period: September 17 - October 26
Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 2:00 pm - Tuesday, October 26, 2021 2:30 pm
Location: Online only

Although they may seem spooky to some and are associated with death, the Turkey Vulture is an important part of nature. Find out more about this high-flying raptor as we investigate its life and unusual diet. This program is geared towards ages 8 and up but all ages are welcome to enroll.

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address to receive a link to the virtual program.
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 6:00 pm - Wednesday, October 27, 2021 8:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Let your imagination run wild in the garden. We will collect our masterpiece materials from the garden (leaves, petals, etc.) before learning a bit about insect body structures before we delve in into creating our own. They can be as creative as we want. Dandelion petal legs? Sure. Seed pod for a thorax? Absolutely. Leaves for wings? You bet. This program is intended for adults but children over the age of 12 with an adult may enjoy it.
Registration period: September 17 - October 30
Date: Saturday, October 30, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, October 30, 2021 10:30 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Red, yellow, orange, and brown, these are the colors of fall. Explore the various shapes and colors that leaves offer as we play and learn the year-long story of leaves.

Babes in the Woods programs are designed to empower parents to introduce babies and toddlers ages 0-2 years to the sights, sounds, and textures of nature.
Registration period: October 15 - October 28
Date: Saturday, October 30, 2021 1:00 pm - Saturday, October 30, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Online only

No matter what age or experience you have, shotgun fundamentals are the foundation of shotgun shooting performance. Shooters shouldn't judge their wingshooting skills based on the result of the shot. If you can hit going away targets but not crossing targets you will find out just how gun fit, shotgun fit, dominant eye and shooting stance will effect your shot.

Participants must have some experience with shotgun shooting and preferably own a shotgun. Students who successfully complete this class will have the opportunity to register for shotgun instruction at Apple Creek Shooting Range at the conclusion of the classroom course.
Registration period: October 15 - October 29
Date: Saturday, October 30, 2021 3:30 pm - Saturday, October 30, 2021 4:15 pm
Location: Online only

Join us for this informative Virtual program to learn the basics of hunting whitetail deer. We will cover scouting, setup, taking the shot and much more.

Please make sure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address, so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021 2:00 pm - Thursday, November 4, 2021 2:30 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Ever wonder what it takes to keep the nature center reptiles and amphibians happy? Watch in-person as naturalists introduce and feed several Missouri amphibians and reptiles.
Registration period: September 17 - November 4
Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021 2:00 pm - Thursday, November 4, 2021 2:30 pm
Location: Online only

Ever wonder what it takes to keep the nature center reptiles, amphibians, and fish happy? Watch from your home or classroom as naturalists introduce and feed several Missouri amphibians and reptiles.

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address to receive a link to the virtual program.
Date: Friday, November 5, 2021 5:30 pm - Friday, November 5, 2021 7:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
For November’s “Nature Center at Night” program we’ll be getting crafty! The nature center exhibits will be open to explore and our classrooms will be buzzing crafts perfect for kids and adults alike! Let us help you create decorations and gifts for your favorite winter holiday, or simply enjoy some relaxing creative time with natural materials and themes.
Registration period: September 17 - November 6
Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021 9:00 am - Saturday, November 6, 2021 9:45 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Time to talk turkey! Trot on in to see what life is like for a wild turkey. We’ll have a gobbling good time!

Little Acorns programs are designed to help children ages 3-6 learn about the natural world through hands on experiences, crafts, and focused freeplay activities.

Registration period: September 17 - November 6
Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021 10:00 am - Saturday, November 6, 2021 10:45 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Time to talk turkey! Trot on in to see what life is like for a wild turkey. We’ll have a gobbling good time!

Little Acorns programs are designed to help children ages 3-6 learn about the natural world through hands on experiences, crafts, and focused freeplay activities.
Registration period: September 17 - November 5
Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021 1:00 pm - Saturday, November 6, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Lake Girardeau Conservation Area
Join us on scenic Lake Girardeau as we watch the final blaze of autumn reflect in the water. This program is an opportunity to simply borrow a boat and go at your own pace. Staff will be on hand to monitor safety and give instruction but you spend your time doing whatever you choose. Binoculars, a fishing pole and permit, or a camera might all make good companions as your drift across this medium sized lake. Lifejackets, kayaks (weight limit 300lbs), paddles and other safety equipment will all be provided. Participants should bring water, snacks, and shoes which can get wet for entering and exiting the kayak. This program is open to ages 10 and up. Participants ages 10-15 require an adult to accompany them. Meet at the main boat launch off of county road 383
Registration period: October 5 - November 6
Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021 2:00 pm - Saturday, November 6, 2021 5:00 pm
Location: Riverfront Park
Let's work together to keep our river clean! Come lend a helping hand and take part in a litter pickup. We will meet at the Broadway entrance of Riverfront Park in downtown Cape Girardeau. Free T-shirts, snacks, and drinks will be provided.
Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2021 11:00 am - Tuesday, November 9, 2021 12:00 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Create a unique leather bracelet with a nature motif. Join us as we examine hide harvesting and tanning. This will be a hands-on class during which participants will make their own jewelry. Must be at least 16 years of age. We will be practicing social distancing. Masks are encouraged.
Registration period: October 15 - November 10
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021 10:00 am - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 10:30 am
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Mammals can be found in every habitat of Missouri and each one is equipped with special tools and skills to survive. We will take a closer look at some of these furry creatures as we discover the important roles they play in their habitats. This program is designed for homeschool students ages 7–11 but all are welcome.
Registration period: October 15 - November 10
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021 2:00 pm - Wednesday, November 10, 2021 3:30 pm
Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Be right on target as you practice two challenging outdoor sports. Try your hand at using a bow and throwing darts with an atlatl. These sports are not only fun but they also improve focus, hand-eye coordination, and build confidence. This program is designed for homeschool students.
Registration period: March 30 - November 11
Date: Thursday, November 11, 2021 4:00 pm - Thursday, November 11, 2021 4:30 pm
Location: Duck Creek Conservation Area

This class is a 12 month program that will meet once a month all year long. You will learn simple, but beautiful embroidery techniques while also exploring the flora and fauna of Missouri’s swamps by stitching quilt blocks based on that theme.

By signing up, you are committing to attend all twelve of the monthly sessions so that you will be able to complete all 15 blocks for an entire quilt.

Classes will be held on a Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm and will be virtual until facilities are re-opened. When we are able to have in-person classes you will be notified. In the meantime, your kits may be picked up the week of class, or after, by appointment. (Call 573-222-3337 or email the instructor at sally.hancock@mdc.mo.gov) The pick up location is in Puxico, MO in the southeast portion of the state.

You will need to have your own embroidery hoop, needle, and tracing pen (While we are virtual). When the building reopens, we will have light boards available for tracing.

Tentative dates: Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 18, April 22, May 20, June 17, July 15, Aug 12, Sept 23, Oct 14, Nov 11, Dec 16
Registration period: October 15 - November 18
Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021 10:00 am - Thursday, November 18, 2021 11:00 am
Location: Online only

Plant beauty is not just about showy flowers. Ferns never have colorful blooms, but as a group they are beautiful and fascinating. Let’s dig deep into ferns and learn about these spore bearing plants; their life cycle, habitats and connections to wildlife. This program is developed for adults but children may learn quite a bit also.

Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address to receive a link to the virtual program.