Discover Nature

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From Missouri Conservationist: February 2017

MDC Discover Nature

8 Ideas for Family Fun

To find more events near you, call your regional office (phone numbers on Page 3), or visit and choose your region.

Introduction to Trout Fishing

Feb. 15 • Wednesday • 6:30–8 p.m. Southwest Region, Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center, 201 W. Riviera Dr., Joplin, MO 64804 Registration required, call 417-629-3423 Ages 7 and older

Have you ever wanted to go trout fishing but didn’t know what to use or where to go? Discover locations to fish in southwest Missouri, essential equipment, basic fishing methods, lure selection, and how to handle, clean, and cook your catch. You will be ready to wet a hook on opening day March 1.

Dresser Island Hike

Feb. 18 • Saturday • 9 a.m.–3 p.m. St. Louis Region, August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, Hwy. D, St. Charles, MO 63304 Registration required, call 636-441-4554 beginning Feb. 3 Ages 12 and older

Break out of your cabin fever and discover Dresser Island, a winter wildlife haven. We will hike 6.5 miles (with an option for 3.5 miles) along the Mississippi River in search of a variety of wildlife including eagles, pelicans, waterfowl, muskrats, deer, and many others.

Bird Banding

Feb. 18 • Saturday • 1–4 p.m.  Southwest Region, Springfield Conservation Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way, Springfield, MO 65804 No registration required, call 417-888-4237 for more information All ages

Drop by for a winter bird banding demonstration with the Missouri River Bird Observatory. Birds will be captured and banded in a location for easy viewing.

Outdoor Family Fun

Feb. 18 • Saturday • 1–4 p.m. Southeast Region, Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, 2289 County Park Dr., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 No registration required, call 573-290-5218 for more information All ages, families

Head outside to the Nature Center for family friendly, outdoor activities. Enjoy winter hiking, animal tracking, outdoor cooking, and much more. Discover what nature can offer your family during the cold winter months.

Creature Feature: Opossums

Feb. 22 • Wednesday • 1:30–2:30 P.M. Northeast Region, Northeast Regional Office, 3500 S. Baltimore St., Kirksville, MO 63501 No registration required Ages 7–12, accompanied by an adult

The opossum holds the distinction of being North America’s only marsupial, and it has 50 teeth — more than any North American land mammal. Join us to learn more about this interesting animal.

Vulture Venture

Feb. 25 • Saturday • 12–5 p.m. Southwest Region, Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center, 483 Hatchery Rd., Branson, MO 65616 No registration required, call 417-334-4865, ext. 0 for more information All ages, families

Learn more about “nature’s clean-up crew,” better known as vultures. In addition to hourly indoor presentations with Socrates, a live turkey vulture, there will be activities throughout the day. Outdoor viewing of black and turkey vultures’ large winter roosts will be available. Dress for the weather and bring a camera.

Pollinator Habitat Program

Feb. 25 • Saturday • 1–3:00 p.m. Central Region, A.L Gustin Golf Course, University of Missouri, 18 Stadium Blvd., Columbia, MO 65201 Registration required, call 573-875-5540, ext. 114, or email by Feb. 18 All ages

Help spread native seeds and learn about quality pollinator habitat, even in urban and mixed-use areas.

Discover Nature Families — Paddlefish Snagging Clinic

April 15 • Saturday • Session 1: 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Session 2: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Kansas City Region, Warsaw Community Building, 181 W. Harrison St., Warsaw, MO 65355 Registration required (beginning March 1), call 660-530-5500 Families, 18 and younger must be accompanied by an adult

Participants will learn about conservation efforts with paddlefish and snagging techniques, accompanied with a two hour snagging experience. You will also learn how to clean and prepare paddlefish. Lunch is provided.

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler