MDC Cape Nature Center to host family night hike, many more events in Aug.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Discover nature this month with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free event lineup featuring edible fall fungi, turtles, caves, a family night hike, and a meet and greet with MDC’s newest canine agent!

  • Flavorful Fall Fungi | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Join mushroom enthusiast and MDC Naturalist Alex for an introductory look at some of falls finest table fare. There’s an entire world of delicious wild mushrooms outside of the venerable morel, and this is your chance to learn the basics. You’ll find out how to forage for mushrooms, how to identify “fall treats,” and maybe even learn a recipe or two. Join MDC for a virtual presentation of Flavorful Fall Fungi at noon on Aug. 25. This program is designed for ages 12 and older.

  • Conservation Families: Night Hike | 8 – 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Experience nature’s night shift in a short hike on Paw Paw Valley Trail! You’ll learn how to rely on your senses as you search for nocturnal animals and discover the amazing ways they survive the night. This program is designed for families with children, but all are welcome. Please wear sturdy shoes, as the trail is rated moderate to difficult with steep hills.

  • Totally Turtles! | 11 a.m. – noon Saturday, Aug. 14 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Under that hard exterior, turtles are totally terrific! Join MDC for a live auditorium program focused on Missouri turtles. You’ll have the chance to meet the live critters – including Missouri’s smallest and largest species of turtles. This program is perfect for all ages.

  • Perry County Karst and Caves | 6 – 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Scott House, Ozark Operations Manager for the Cave Research Foundation, will share the wonder under our feet. Perry County is rich with caves and this presentation will show the amazing world of caves and karst. Life underground takes special skills and adaptations, so the countless creatures found there are unique. Caves and their inhabitants are of special conservation concern, and you may be able to help. Join MDC for a virtual presentation of Perry County Karst and Caves at 6 p.m. on Aug. 17. This program is for all ages.

  • Meet Up with Tex | 2 – 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21 at Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Come and meet the MDC’s newest team member in the Southeast Region. This team member has highly specialized skills and abilities that no one else possesses -- he also has four paws, fur, and a nose that is 40 times better than ours! Canine Tex and his handler Cpl. Alan Lamb will be presenting what it is they do to help protect Missouri wildlife.

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 all programs and can be completed here. The first step in registering for a program is creating a profile at 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 at

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

Families now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own accounts. Once a group account is setup, parents and guardians will be able to register their children for an event without utilizing multiple logins. An entire group, family, or select family members can be added to an event at the same time. This can be completed by logging into your account, selecting “My Group Profile” and then adding additional family or group members to your account. Setup your group account today, and you’re ready for all upcoming programs!

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.