MDC Cape Nature Center gets spooky with Trek N’ Treat event, much more in October

News from the region
Published Date

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Discover nature this month with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free event lineup featuring a few programs on bizarre plants, a feeding frenzy, fall scavenger hunt, a creature feature on turkey vulture, and a special Trek N’ Treat event!

  • Nature Center at Night: Show Me Strange Plants | 6 – 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

A carnivorous swamp monster, exploding seed bombs, and vampires that suck the life from the forest around them makes one thing clear: Missouri is home to some unusual plants! Join MDC staff for a fun look at the peculiar ways that some of the state’s flora make a living. While this program is open to all ages, it is for ages 12 and older. This program is part of MDC’s Nature Center at Night series. The Cape Nature Center, including the Nature Shop, will stay open until 7 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, with a special program during that time.

  • Native Plant Fall Sale | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Fall is an excellent time to plant natives because the few extra weeks of warm soil temperature provide the roots time to grow – and that means better growth next spring! Native plants, trees, shrubs, and vines will be available for sale on the lawn of the Cape Nature Center. Only plants will be available from vendors. MDC staff and volunteers will be on-site to answer questions. Orders can be placed in advance with vendors and picked up day of, or plants can be selected and purchased day of. The vendors are Ozark Soul Native Plants, Missouri Wildflower Nursery, and Forest Keeling. This event will be held outside, rain or shine.

  • Conservation Families: Fall Scavenger Hunt | 2 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Celebrate the changing seasons by heading out on a scavenger hunt! It’s fun for the whole family as you search through nature for signs of fall. There will be an easy, moderate, and difficult scavenger hunt available. Just drop by, select the scavenger hunt page of your choice, and return the completed pages for a small prize!

  • Trek N' Treat | 5 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Help us celebrate the spookiest time of year with a not-so-spooky event perfect for all ages. Show up wearing your costume and take a stroll down our short Trek N’ Treat trail where you’ll meet our creature-characters who will teach you all about Missouri’s most helpful – but often most misunderstood – creepy crawlies. You’ll learn a little about each character (and they love to hand out treats, too!) The nature center will be alive with games, activities, a squirmy-wormy zoo, and crafts which will surely make you scream (with joy)!

  • Creature Feature: Turkey Vulture (Virtual) | 2 – 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26

Although they may seem spooky to some and are associated with death, the turkey vulture is an important part of nature. Find out more about this high-flying raptor as MDC staff investigate its life and unusual diet. This program is geared towards ages 8 and older, but all ages are welcome.

All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events 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 and all others can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at

Advance registration is required for most programs and can be completed here. The first step in registering for a program is creating a profile. Once a profile 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 here.

Check out MDC’s other free October events here, and be on the lookout for more in-person events to register for in November!

Stay in Touch

The Cape Nature Center sends program registration reminders and updates to those who sign up by texting “MDC Nature” to 468311. An online subscription is also available to “sign up for updates” 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.