Autumn colors inspire natural dye program at Cape Nature Center

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Naturalists will feature colors of autumn by using native berries, nuts, roots and leaves at the Natural Dyes event hosted at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center on Nov. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. Naturalist Angela Pierce with the Missouri Department of Conservation says hopeful participants should call this week to reserve one of 15 spots in the class.

Pierce said participants will learn some history of plant use for dye-making, explore which native plants are used to make specific colors, and walk through the process of making a natural dye.

“Making and using natural dyes helps to broaden our appreciation for plants. It’s a really unique way to discover nature,” Pierce said. “We have these plants all around us and sometimes it’s easy to take them for granted. By learning how to use them, we find new value in them.”

Pierce said there will be a presentation highlighting various useful plants for dye making. They will use dye baths and dye handkerchiefs and, weather permitting, they’ll take a hike to identify plants that can be used in the process. She said this event is not reserved for expert naturalists, it’s an experience that all levels of nature lovers can participate in and enjoy.

“Using our native plants in practical ways lends a fresh perspective of just how valuable our forest resources are,” Pierce said. “This will be a fun time to enjoy the season and discover nature fully before our autumn colors begin to fade.”

Early registration for this event begins Oct. 15. Everyone 16 or older is welcome to register. Pierce said participants should dress appropriately for a potentially messy experience.

For more opportunities to discover nature with the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center call (573)290-5218, go online to or text the word “nature” to 91212.