CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Kick off spring with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center free nature program lineup, including two featured events on March 20: Hiking: Recreating Responsibly with Kids at 9:30 a.m. and Discover Nature: Explore Maintz Wildlife Preserve at 1 p.m.
Not sure if you can pick that flower, or maybe you want to roll that log over? Take a walk with MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky and MDC volunteer Leah Harris and explore different ways to hike and experience nature that are both safe for us and safe for the plants and animals.
“Hikes provide great opportunities to have up-close experiences with the outdoor world, all while getting good exercise and plenty of fresh air,” said Prucinsky. “The trail we'll explore is paved, so it’s wheelchair and stroller accessible. It’s roughly 1/4 mile one-way, with minor elevation changes.”
Please dress for the weather, as this program is entirely outdoors. Anyone is welcome to attend, though it’s geared toward families with children who are interested in learning how to explore nature responsibly.
To ensure the safety of all, this program requires participants to observe physical distancing and wear a face covering. All family members that plan to attend must be registered.
Advance registration is encouraged for all programs and can be completed online at www.mdc.mo.gov/southeastevents.
Questions about this event can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at Laci.Prucinsky@mdc.mo.gov.
Meet MDC Naturalist Cameron Johnston at Maintz Wildlife Preserve in Oak Ridge to get a closer look at what makes the area a spectacular place to visit. While there won’t be time to see all 804 acres, you’ll discover a few parts of the preserve that offer a diverse array of recreational opportunities, such as: fishing, birdwatching, and archery.
“The Maintz Wildlife Preserve is an 804-acre area of rolling hills,” said Johnston. “It’s named after Ty Maintz, an Oak Ridge bird hunter and nature lover who in the 1970s donated 250 acres and funds to buy more land.”
There are several small ponds stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. Some small fishless ponds, and one larger seasonal wetland have been created for amphibians, shorebirds, and waterfowl.
Be sure to dress for the weather and bring some waterproof boots (recommended) to explore. Participants will be expected to drive between parking lots to view different parts of the area.
Participants ages 15 and under must be accompanied by a registered adult.
To ensure the safety of all, this program requires participants to observe social distancing and wear a face covering. All family members that plan to attend must be registered.
Questions about this event can be emailed to MDC Naturalist Cameron Johnston at Cameron.Johnston@mdc.mo.gov.
And be on the lookout for more in-person events to register for in April! Advance registration is encouraged for all programs and can be completed online at www.mdc.mo.gov/southeastevents.
The first step in registering for a program is creating an account at www.mdc.mo.gov/southeastevents. 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 phone registration vendor at 1-888-283-0364. Event call center hours are Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. This phone number is for event registration only.
Information about age-specific monthly programs can be found online at www.mdc.mo.gov/southeastevents.
Check out MDC’s other free March events:
To ensure the safety of all, in-person programs require family groups to practice physical distancing, and masks are required for all in-person events. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include:
Participants of in-person, outdoor events (such as the ones listed above) will be required to wear face masks and physical distance. For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov.
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.