Celebrate spring with MDC Cape Nature Center’s free April programs

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Have fun outdoors this spring with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free in-person and virtual program lineup focused on frogs, turkeys, fishing, plants, and mushrooms.

  • Basic Bowfishing Skills | April 3, from 2 – 3 p.m.

Fishing is a favorite outdoor activity for many, but have you ever tried fishing with a bow? This is your chance to join MDC Discover Nature Fishing Instructor Colt Wahl to learn basic bowfishing skills, such as identifying the parts of a bow and fishing arrow, how to aim in the water, and shooting and retrieving the arrow. This program is open to anyone interested in starting out in the world of bowfishing but is more appropriate for ages 14 and older. It is recommended to also register for the Basic Bowfishing virtual program on April 2 at 1 p.m.

  • 50 Years of Turkey Hunting in Missouri: Then & Now | April 9, from 7 – 8 p.m.

With spring turkey season quickly approaching, this program offers a look back to the 1930s and the start of Missouri conservation. At that time, wild turkey was struggling in numbers, and MDC initiated steps to bring that population back to a healthy level. Join MDC volunteer Michael as he shares hunting tips and stories. This program is intended for turkey hunters of all experience levels.

  • Homeschool: Fantastic Frogs (Virtual) | April 14, from 2 – 3 p.m.

Spring is here – can’t you hear the frogs? Learn all about the common frogs and toads of Missouri while exploring their life cycle, identifying their calls, and discovering how they help us. You’ll also learn tips and tricks on how you can help frogs.

  • Diggin' Deep into Spring Ephemerals (Virtual) | April 20, from 1 – 2 p.m.

Now you see them. Now you don’t. Early spring has many lovely plants that have a very short life cycle. They bloom and then fade away back to their roots or just a few leaves. Here’s your chance to dig into some spring ephemerals native to Missouri.

  • Chanterelle Mushrooms: Nature's Fireworks (Virtual) | April 27, from 2 – 3 p.m.

Many people know about the reclusive morel, but did you know this time of year provides a blaze orange mushroom in such abundance that it is nearly impossible to overlook? Several species of chanterelle mushrooms call Missouri home, and they are rarely collected by the morel-hungry Missourian. Join MDC virtually to learn about the habits, uses, and identifying characteristics of this mushroom valued by chefs worldwide.

All family members that plan to attend must be registered. To ensure the safety of all, MDC encourages in-person program participants to wash hands with soap and water, observe social distancing, wear a face covering, and stay home when sick. Questions about these events can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at Laci.Prucinsky@mdc.mo.gov.

Check out MDC’s other free April events here, and be on the lookout for more in-person events to register for in May.

Advance registration is encouraged for all programs and can be completed here. The first step in registering for a program is creating an account here. Once an account is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email.

If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at (573) 290-5218. For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online here.

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.