Get info and share opinions at MDC 80th Anniversary Open House at Cape Nature Center Aug. 8

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- This year the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is celebrating 80 years of serving nature and you. MDC was founded by Missourians -- concerned by the state’s decimated fish, forests, and wildlife -- through a constitutional amendment passed in 1936 to create the nation’s first apolitical conservation agency in 1937.

Keeping with its tradition of citizen-based conservation, MDC will hold open houses around the state in August through October to share information and gather public feedback. The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host the first open house Tuesday, Aug. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. The Cape Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Drive, in Cape Girardeau.

Director Sara Parker Pauley will be at all open houses to share insights on the Department’s history, conservation priorities, and challenges on the horizon. Each open house will also include remarks by local community leaders.

Attendees are encouraged to give feedback on Department regulations, infrastructure, strategic priorities, and statewide and local conservation issues.

No registration is required for this event and visitors will have an opportunity to learn how to clean and prepare common big river fish and sample freshly prepared fried fish.

The first 80 attendees at each open house will receive a special gift item from MDC.

"Citizen involvement and participation have always been important to the Department of Conservation,” said Director Pauley. “Whether through gathering input from hunters on deer season regulations, or hikers and birdwatchers on how a conservation area should be managed, we value public input. We want to hear from you."

Watch this video for a personal invitation from MDC Director Pauley:

MDC will also gather public feedback at the SEMO District Fair in Cape Girardeau Sept. 9-16.

Can’t make an open house? Share your comments online at

For more information, contact MDC Public Involvement Coordinator Michele Baumer at 573-522-4115, ext. 3350, or