MDC Cape Nature Center announces May programs

News from the region
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – No matter your age, you can enjoy nature this month with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free in-person and virtual program lineup focused on the ancient atlatl (spear-thrower), wildflowers and plants, and hiking!

  • Come Hunt the Short-faced Bear | May 8, from 2 – 4 p.m.

The atlatl, also known as a spear thrower, is a tool used around the world and well into prehistory. Pre-dating the bow and arrow by tens of thousands of years, this tool, in the hands of the Aztecs, could penetrate even Spanish armor! Join us on the front lawn of the Cape Nature Center for a chance to try out this amazing tool. 

  • Discover Blue Spring Branch Conservation Area | May 8, from 2 – 5 p.m.

Hike through one of the region’s amazing natural areas at Blue Springs Branch Conservation Area. Delve into the history of this area and look at its unique topography. This area is home to a large variety of plants including some beautiful spring ephemerals.

  • Babes in the Woods: Bear Picnic | May 22, from 9 - 9:30 a.m.

Are you as hungry as a bear? Black bears like to eat some of the things we do and some things we don’t like to eat. Find out more about the black bear and what else is on the menu as we head outside in search of food for a “bear picnic.”

  • Wildflower and Plant Scavenger Hunt | May 29, from 2 - 4:30 p.m.

Explore the native plant gardens and the trails at the Cape Nature Center in search of spring wildflowers. Stop by and pick up your scavenger hunt sheet for a chance to earn a small prize.

All family members that plan to attend must be registered. To ensure the safety of all, in-person programs require family groups to practice social distancing, and masks are strongly recommended. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Wash hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • Be considerate of others.

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

Check out MDC’s other free May events here, and be on the lookout for more in-person events to register for in June.

Advance registration is required for all programs and can be completed here. The first step in registering for a program is creating an account at Once an account is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email. If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center at (573) 290-5218. For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online at

The Cape Girardeau Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting “MDC Nature” to 468311. You can also register for email reminders 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 Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.