Butterflies are essential pollinators and beautiful creatures. Join us in-person at Claire Gempp Davidson Memorial Conservation Area to search for and view butterflies in the wild. Participants will also learn how to catch and release butterflies, as well as use basic photography skills to capture the experience.
Nets will be provided. Please bring a digital camera or smart phone, if you have one, for the photography section. We will be outside in full-sun; please bring sunscreen, a water bottle, and wear appropriate clothing.
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 for the entire program. It is recommended that participants bring sunglasses, a water bottle, and sunscreen. This class is for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All persons in your group MUST be individually registered.
Find out about the interesting lives of black bears in Missouri, play the “Bear Necessities” survival game, and learn to be “Bear Aware” to help keep both bears and people safe.
Please meet the naturalist at the Stupp Center.
(Ages 8 & up)
How do you handle a compass when it is 360°? Together, we will decode the mysteries of how a compass works and put it to use with a few fun outdoor activities.
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.
What is a slough? A slough is an old part of a river or wetland that has been cut off. At times it is full to the brim with water; at other times it is just muddy or totally dry. It is the home territory of frogs, toads, turtles and even beavers. At times the slough at Columbia Bottom joins both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. We will look for turtles and listen for amphibian calls at the slough as we make our way to the confluence. On our return we will watch the sunset from the Cropland Overlook.
Meet at lot “L” about 4 ½ miles from the front entrance.
Please bring a flashlight and a walking stick if you have one. We will be wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines as appropriate.
Sunset: 8:29 pm
Do you want to learn how to survive the wilds of Missouri? Join us at Emmenegger Nature Park as we spend our summer day learning the ins and outs of survival in the wild. Survivalist trainees will learn how to properly identify Missouri native plants and animal tracks as well as build a shelter out of debris found in the woods. Survivalists will also learn archery and atlatl as well as take part in a short orienteering course.
Registration is required. Participants should bring lunch and wear clothes to get a little dirty and wet.
June 29, Tuesday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
(Ages 9 and up)
Reservations begin June 15
Join our instructors as we learn the fundamentals of shooting archery. This is a fun program for the entire family, ages 9 and up
As these are in-person programs MDC asks all guests to observe social distancing guidelines and maintain at least 6 feet from others for the safety of participants and staff. 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.
Do you love learning about our creepy, crawly, buzzy and sometimes fuzzy Missouri insects? Join us at Powder Valley as we dedicate our whole day to talking about everything insect. Participants will learn about pollination and insect life cycles and metamorphosis through interactive activities and games as well as an insect craft. We will also venture out on a larvae hunt, get our hands dirty with an insect dig and sweep, and get our feet wet with a macroinvertebrate study.
This program is open to all ages and registration is not required. Participants should bring lunch, and wear clothes to get a little dirty and wet.
Women’s Beginning Handgun
(Ages 16 and up)
The Women's Beginning Handgun program includes handgun fundamentals, operation, safety, maintenance and safe storage. We start in the Education Center with classroom instruction then move to the range for a live-fire session. Firearms, ammunition, and safety equipment are provided however, you may bring your own handgun and ammunition to the live-fire session. Firearms and ammunition are not allowed in the Education Center.
Have you ever wanted to learn outdoor skills like fishing and archery? Join us as we discover the different aspects of both of these skills at our minicamp! We will learn about the different fish that call Missouri home, how to bait a hook, and practice casting before fishing in our educational lakes. You will also have the opportunity to learn how to use a compound bow and practice your aim during some scheduled shooting
This minicamp will take place at Bellefontaine Conservation Area near highway 270 and 367. You will head south on 367 and make the first left towards the veteran’s home. You should see a brown conservation sign directing you to the conservation area at the first left. Please bring a water bottle, sunscreen, a lunch, and other supplies needed for the duration of camp.
Please register each camper that is planning to attend.
*Parents/guardians will receive a waiver for each camper. Parents/guardians will drop-off campers via waiver and emergency contact form.
The compass is an excellent tool to help you reach your destination, identify your location, and map your route. Learn how to do all three by joining us at Shaw Nature Reserve for this free orienteering program. Included will be a treasure hunt for free giveaways. This event will take place outdoors, so be sure to come prepared with proper footwear, clothing attire for gravel trails, water, and potentially hot weather.
All planning to attend the event should register separately. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you there!
Discover Nature Girls’ Camp is a FREE, 1-day camp held by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for girls ages 11-15. The camp will be held on July 13th. One goal of this camp is to encourage participants to leave with the confidence to explore Missouri’s diverse outdoors on their own. Discover Nature Girls’ Camp will provide them with a supportive learning environment where they can actively participate in “hands-on” outdoor skills led by Conservation Agents and MDC staff. Some of these skills include: archery, shooting sports, fishing, atlatl, and canoeing. At the completion of camp, the girls will become Hunter Education certified so that they may continue using their newly learned skills. Registration is open to the first 60 girls. You will need to create a user name and password for your child to register.
This is a multistep process step 1) register online 2) watch for an email and a packet in the mail (PLEASE MAKE SURE TO HAVE A CURRENT EMAIL AND ADDRESS LISTED WHEN REGISTEREING) 3) fill out the packet ASAP and return 4) student must complete the knowledge portion explained in packet and return.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out by email Becky.Robertson@mdc.mo.gov or phone (636) 441-4554.
Missouri is home to over 200 different fish species. Identifying the differences in these fish can be tough for beginner anglers, and enthusiasts alike. Join us as we learn about the most popular game, and non-game fish in Missouri. We will cover many fish species that include, but not limited to, bass, crappie, and invasive carp. This program will be a hybrid event held at Powder Valley Nature Center, as well as virtually. Registration for separate for the two audiences.
This event will be held at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in the classroom.
Register each person individually.
Missouri is home to over 200 different fish species. Identifying the differences in these fish can be tough for beginner anglers, and enthusiasts alike. Join us as we learn about the most popular game, and non-game fish in Missouri. We will cover many fish species that include, but not limited to, bass, crappie, and invasive carp. This program will be a hybrid event held at Powder Valley Nature Center, as well as virtually.
Registration for separate for the two audiences.
This portion is VIRTUAL, a Webex link will be sent approximately 24 hours in advance. This will not be recorded.
Register each person individually.
This program will introduce the fundamentals for safely and successfully shooting a compound bow, with hands on practice. All equipment will be provided. Class will meet at the pavilion on the Bellefontaine Conservation Area. The class will be held outdoors so please dress for the weather. Ages 9 and up, participants 9-15 must be accompanied by an adult.
Want your little ones to learn some outdoor skills?
Join us at Powder Valley as we spend the day outside learning how to shoot a bow, observe animals in the outdoors, and make some take home crafts with materials we can find outside!
Registration is required. Participants should bring lunch and wear appropriate clothes for summer weather; sunscreen and a water bottle are recommended. A camp packet with more details, an emergency contact form, and a waiver will be sent out to all registrants a week before we meet.
Youth .22 Rifle
(Ages 9 and up)
Interested young people may experience shooting .22 rifles by an instructor. Each participant will be learning safety and the proper techniques of shooting .22 rim fire rifles. Firearms, ammunition, and safety equipment will be provided. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED