Make wildlife ornaments with MDC’s Nature's Gifts program Dec. 13 at Busch Conservation Area

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Saint Louis
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Crafters can adorn their Christmas trees this year with gifts from the outdoors . . . ornaments they’ve created themselves. A free, in-person program open for all ages is hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). It will enable creative sorts to hang their own hand-crafted touch of nature from the boughs.

The Conservation Crafters: Nature's Gifts will be held on Sunday, Dec. 13 at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles. Participants will have a choice of two different times: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. Both classes are identical, so participants should select their preferred time.

Crafters can choose two out of 10 different ornament shapes, each one taking the form an animal found in Missouri’s outdoors. These include coyote, bear, raccoon, beaver, otter, cardinal, owl, wood duck, bass, and hellbenders. MDC naturalists will provide options to color the ornaments, from markers to acrylic paint. They’ll also supply everything to finish the ornaments, including thread to put through the pre-drilled hole for hanging the ornament.

In addition to the hands-on crafting opportunity, participants will also enjoy an educational presentation. “We’ll learn about what nature gives and provides for us all year round while decorating ornaments inspired by some of Missouri’s wild residents,” said MDC Naturalist Nicki Wheaton. “We will be talking about what the animals give to us, like furs, food, or even entertainment.”

Advanced online registration for the Conservation Crafters: Nature's Gifts classes is required at the links below.

Participants should sign up for their preferred timeslot only. Registrants must register each person in their group. An email should be sent to with the names of everyone in the group. The presenter will send a confirmation email after each person is registered.

Face masks are required for the program and best social distancing practices will be observed. Participants are asked to meet in the staging area behind the main building five minutes before the start of their class.

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located at 2360 Highway D in St. Charles, about two miles west of Highway 94.

MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at