Help superheroes battle alien invaders at Burr Oak Woods

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Kansas City
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Blue Springs, Mo. – They will suddenly appear at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, and they could be everywhere if people will pitch in and help. We're talking superheroes battling alien invaders -- plants and critters. Superheroes will explain their powers during guided hikes along the Nature Center's Missouri Tree Trail on Saturday, Oct. 4. Those attending this free event for all ages can learn how they can be heroes in keeping non-native species from harming Missouri's forests, grasslands and yards.

Each autumn, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff and volunteers at Burr Oak Woods plan an evening mixing fun with education. They portrayed characters from Charlotte's Web one year. Last year, Dorothy and her friends from Oz skipped down the trail along with attendees. This year, superheroes such as Aqua Girl, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Catwoman, and Superman will greet trail goers. They will talk about ways to halt invaders harmful to native ecology such as the emerald ash borer, bush honeysuckle, chytrid fungus and Asian carp.

"In the fall, we take a conservation topic and adapt it in a way that will be fun for families," said Rebecca Miller, Burr Oak Woods assistant manager. "We pick something that gets people outdoors in a performance atmosphere."

Superheroes will be showing their might along a three-quarter mile trail route that takes about 45 minutes to complete. The trail is paved and accessible to all including those who use wheelchairs and baby strollers. Adults and children are invited to attend in costume as their favorite superhero.

Trail hikes are offered in two sessions. Groups will leave on the guided hike every 15 minutes from 1 to 3 p.m. The superheroes will be available to meet with visitors and sign autographs 4 to 4:30 p.m. Evening hikes will be offered from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

"Superman will wrap up the hike and let everyone know how they can be superheroes in battling alien invaders," Miller said.

As a bonus, the first fall color is appearing along the trails at Burr Oak Woods. Crimson foliage is beginning to appear on ash trees and Virginia creeper vines.

For more information call 816-228-3766 or go to The Nature Center is at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs.

MDC helps people discover nature.