Discover nature with MDC Cape Nature Center’s free May programs

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Discover nature in May with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free programs!

  • Conservation Adults: Nature Center Game Night | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. on May 9 at Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center | Registration not required. 

Join the boardgame club for nature lovers! This monthly program will begin with a short presentation highlighting a different nature-themed board game, and how it relates to Missouri’s mission to have world class fish, forests, and wildlife. After the intro…let the games begin! There will be games available for all experience levels, though on average these games have a higher complexity level than family board game players may be used to, these games are most appropriate for ages 12 and older. You are welcome to bring any snacks and non-alcoholic beverages you wish, as well as nature-themed board games to share from your collection.

  • Nature Center at Night with special guest MDC’s Heather Feeler: A Spirit of Gratitude | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on May 10 at Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center | Registration not required. 

It’s a new year full of possibilities, expectations, and resolutions. But what if you’re already exhausted and we’re only a few months into 2024? Being in survival mode can often bring more stress and struggle, including sometimes snuffing out our energy and passion. How do we get our groove back and stay inspired, including letting nature rejuvenate us?

Join us for a fun and lighthearted presentation (but also meaningful, we hope!) on how the spirit of gratitude can help you live your best life. This session applies to those with an empty tank as well as those still firing on all cylinders—the learning, including personal storytelling and practical tips, will all be the same, including:

  • How to rekindle your passion for life through gratitude and regain the spark and joy in living out your mission
  • Strategies to refocus your day and take back your schedule (that are often hijacked by a hundred other things)
  • Tip and tricks to get your gratitude mojo back, including where to find inspiration, mentoring, energy, and maybe even a daily dose of laughter

Even though gratitude is an inside job, we hope this session will be a sweet salve to the soul and just the spark you need to keep moving onward and upward.

Heather Feeler, MDC Communications Branch Chief, spends her professional time chasing interesting conservation stories and connecting people with nature. In her spare time, Heather can be found hiking, hammocking, and handwriting notes of encouragement for others.

With spring starting around the show-me state local swamps, glades, and forest floors will start to come alive with the colors of wildflowers. During this program, learn about some of the wildflowers you may see when viewing these ecosystems and where you might find them in your area.

Join fly fishing enthusiast Michael Fiehler for a beginner’s guide to fly fishing! This hands-on program will start you on a relaxing and rewarding journey as you explore basic casting techniques. No experience required and all equipment is provided. This program will be held largely outside, so please dress accordingly. In the event of rainy weather, the program may be rescheduled.

With the weather warming up it’s the perfect time to fish. Come join us and catch some of the fish in our Kids Fishing Pond and learn the differences in some of the species that are stocked in the pond.

  • Sensory Exploration: Spring Sensory Saturday | 2 – 4 p.m. on May 25 at 25 at Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center | Registration not required. 

Spring is in full swing, and our plants and animals are busy! From blooming flowers to growing animals, there are many sights, sounds, smells, and textures to enjoy this season. Join us for several sensory-friendly, spring-themed activities and stations. This program is designed to be inclusive to children of all ages and abilities.

Program Registration

Advance registration is required for most programs and can be completed online at All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events must be registered. First, create a profile. Once a profile is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email.

Check out details for all of MDC’s free May events online at And don’t forget to register your children and homeschool students for Little Acorns and Babes in the Woods story times!

If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at (573) 290-5218.

Stay Connected 

Questions about events can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting “MDC Nature” to 468311. An online subscription is also available to “sign up for updates” at A variety of updates are available at this option, but Cape Girardeau specific updates are available under facility updates and news for southeast region.

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