CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.
“This was a pleasant surprise, especially since it wasn’t something we sought out,” said Sara Turner, the manager of the nature center. “We strive to serve Missourians and everyone who comes here with the best opportunities to discover nature. The reviews we’ve received on TripAdvisor and other websites show that we’re doing something right.”
Located inside Cape Girardeau’s North County Park, just east of Interstate 55, the nature center is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Turner said the center and its programs are funded by the Conservation Sales Tax. The Conservation Sales Tax is one eighth of 1% of every taxable sale, as decided by Missouri voters in 1976. For every $8 spent on taxable items, one penny goes to conservation.
The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center hosts special programs for all ages throughout the year to help visitors connect with the land through encounters with nature. The center boasts a two-mile trail, a 160-seat auditorium and three classrooms, hands-on exhibits, a scientific research laboratory, freshwater aquariums, and an indoor wildlife-viewing area.
Turner said one of the most favored opportunities at the nature center is the Kids' Fishing Pond, designated for anglers aged 15 and younger, which is open to the public from sunrise to 10 p.m.
“Our kids’ only fishing pond gives parents an opportunity to teach their children to fish in a highly accessible area,” Turner said. “We make it really easy by providing all the equipment they need and bait if they’re here during office hours.”
Turner said borrowed fishing equipment must be returned to the center’s front desk by 4:30 p.m. each day. The center’s naturalists are also available during office hours to enhance the learning experience for both parents and children.
“All of these examples are just a portion of the methods we use to teach conservation and inspire the future of conservation,” Turner said. “We hope even more visitors will come and discover nature with us.”
“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”
The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is one of seven nature centers around the state. More information and a schedule of nature center programs can be found at mdc.mo.gov/events.