Xplor reconnects kids to nature and helps them find adventure in their own backyard. Free to residents of Missouri.
MDC Cape Nature Center to host 18th annual Native Plant Seminar in March
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is encouraging those interested in “going native” for spring landscaping to attend upcoming events focused on the importance of utilizing native plants March 14 – 18 at Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center.
“Our native plant seminar is highly anticipated,” said Laci Prucinsky, manager of the Cape Nature Center. “Each year we look forward to sharing ideas and connecting with fellow native plant enthusiasts.”
Native plants are indigenous to a given area and have developed or occurred naturally in a specific area. They typically grow better in the geographic area they belong to and help local native wildlife thrive.
The Cape Nature Center is hosting a variety of virtual programs March 14-17 leading up to in-person speakers and a plant sale on March 18.
Event lineup includes:
- Gardening for Pollinators | When: Noon – 1 p.m. on March 14 | Where: MDC Virtual Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/189784
If you want to see more bees and butterflies in your garden, we have some recommendations for you! Donna Aufdenberg, Field Specialist in Horticulture from the University of Missouri Extension, will discuss the benefits of native plants for our native pollinators. Learn which plants will draw in the most pollinators and the basics of starting your own pollinator garden. This program is open to all ages; however, it’s best suited for ages 12 and older.
- "Beeing" a Better Steward: A Landowner's Story | When: 10 – 11 a.m. on March 15 | Where: MDC Virtual Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/189788
Join MDC Cape Nature Center Volunteer Paul Breitenstein as he describes his journey to becoming a better steward. Paul will discuss changes he made to his property to remove invasive species, increase native plant diversity, and increase habitat for wildlife. This program is open to all ages; however, it’s best suited for ages 12 and older.
- Agroforestry: Tree Crops for Conservation | When: Noon – 1 p.m. on March 16 | Where: MDC Virtual Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/189789
Did you know many native plants can be planted and harvested alongside modern agriculture? Hannah Hemmelgarn, MS, Assistant Program Director at the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, will talk about some of the native perennial specialty crops that have been (or are) part of improvement programs and cultivar trials. This program is open to all ages; however, it’s best suited for ages 16 and older.
- Creating Soft Landings for Pollinators | When: 10 – 11 a.m. on March 17 | Where: MDC Virtual Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/190044
Learn how you can help caterpillars grow into butterflies and beyond through providing a sanctuary among the trees. Paula Diaz, a venerated native plant landscaper and long-time volunteer of DeepRootsKC, the GrowNative! program, and the Missouri Prairie Foundation, will discuss the importance of landscaping with keystone native species and what it means to provide “soft landings” for pollinators. This program is open to all ages; however, it’s best suited for ages 12 and older.
- Searching for Shamrocks | When: Noon – 1 p.m. on March 17 | Where: MDC Virtual Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/189790
The shamrock is a symbol of the greenest holiday of the year, but what exactly is a shamrock? A four-leaf clover? Not so fast! Learn about the shamrock and where you might expect to find some of your own in Missouri. This program is open to all ages; however, it’s best suited for ages 12 and older.
- Crafting Corner | When: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on March 18 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Registration not required.
Native Plant Seminar isn’t just for adults! Bring the whole family to the craft corner to create your own style of plant inspired art. We’ll provide craft supplies, natural materials, and a few examples to get you started – the rest is up to you! This program is open to all ages and does not require registration.
- Guest Speaker: Native Plants for Wildlife | When: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. on March 18 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/189791
Join Bill Eddleman, retired Wildlife Biologist and Ornithologist, to learn how native plantings can encourage wildlife in your area. Bill will discuss the basics of wildlife management as applied to home landscapes and native plant gardens. He will also talk about some landscape bed designs, and plant selections, and how to establish native plants at your own home. This program is open to all ages; however, it is best suited for ages 12 and older. To reserve your seat, please register. Walk-ins will also be welcome the day of, subject to seating availability.
- Guest Speaker: Native Plant Seminar: Orchids of Missouri | When: 11 a.m. – Noon on March 18 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/189792
Join Chris Benda, the Illinois Botanizer, to learn about the exciting world of wild orchids. This program will discuss the natural history of orchids and present photos of all the species native to Missouri. This program is open to all ages; however, it is best suited for ages 12 and older. To reserve your seat, please register for this program. Walk-ins will also be welcome the day of, subject to seating availability.
- Native Plants: Barking Up the Right Tree | When: 1 – 2:30 p.m. on March 18 | Where: Cape Girardeau Nature Center | Register at https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/189794
Identifying trees in winter can help you plan for spring and carryout forest management in cooler temperatures. This program will be held outside and will cover about ½ mile of easy to moderate trail. You may wish to bring a notebook and bottle of water.
- Cape Nature Center will host its annual native plant sale from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on March 18 at the front lawn of the Cape Nature Center.
Native plants are the foundation of a healthy habitat and are essential for wildlife. Vendors, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery and Forrest Keeling Nursery, who specialize in native trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers, will be on-site with their products. Vendors, staff, and volunteers will be available to advise you on your purchases. Pre-orders are available with pickup scheduled for March 18.
- Missouri Wildflowers Nursery: https://mowildflowers-net.3dcartstores.com
- Forrest Keeling: https://fknursery.com/residential
Programs/events above are connected with MDC’s Native Plant Seminar but may also be registered for as stand-alone programs. Please ensure your MDC account includes an accurate email address so that you can receive a link to virtual programs. Registration ends two hours before program begins.
Check out details for all of MDC’s free March events online at mdc.mo.gov/southeastevents. And be on the lookout for programs to register for in April!
Advance registration is required for most programs. All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events must be registered. First, create a profile online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4gc. 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.
Questions about events can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at Laci.Prucinsky@mdc.mo.gov.
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 www.mdc.mo.gov. 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.