High COVID numbers force MDC to temporarily close Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

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JOPLIN, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will temporarily close its Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin due to rising COVID-19 concerns. The Shoal Creek facility is located at 201 W. Riviera Drive.

This closure, which takes effect on Tuesday, Jan. 5; comes after the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) classified several counties under the “Extreme Risk” category due to their positivity rate and case rate. The latest county-level positivity rates can be found at:


“Even though our building is closed, we encourage the public to socially distance and enjoy the outdoors, said Shoal Creek Education Center Manager Kevin Badgley. “The area grounds will remain open for people to get out and discover nature along Shoal Creek, view wildlife, and hike the trails.”

Though the Shoal Creek Center will be closed to the public, staff will still be available to answer phone calls during regular office hours at 417-629-3434. Information about MDC virtual events that will be conducted by Shoal Creek staff and other MDC personnel around the state can be found at mdc.mo.gov.