CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The last frost usually occurs the first full week of April according to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Natural Events Calendar. Shortly after, flowers like Rose verbena and bird’s foot violets will begin to grace glades and roadsides. The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host two Wednesday Wildflower Walks at some of the region’s most scenic areas. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak in the beginning of the warmer seasons and enjoy a walk in the woods.
The first Wednesday Wildflower Walk is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., at Seventy-Six Conservation Area. The second is set for Wednesday, April 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Trail of Tears State Park.
“These wildflower walks are designed to help people get out to areas they might not go to on their own and help them discover nature by looking for and identifying our state’s showy wildflowers,” said Sara Turner, manager of the Cape Nature Center.
Seventy-Six Conservation Area is located in eastern Perry County, at the end of Route D, approximately four miles northeast of Brazeau. Steep forested hills with narrow ridge fields and deep hollows characterize this area. Rock bluffs face some sections of the Mississippi River, which runs along the area for nearly two miles. The area supports a mixed hardwood forest, with stands of trees, including oaks, tulip poplars and other species, ranging in size from saplings to majestic old growth. The area is currently used as a demonstration area for forest and wildlife management techniques.
Trail of Tears State Park has majestic views of the Mississippi River and beyond. Its location right on the river makes the park one of the best places in Missouri for viewing migratory waterfowl.
Turner said those who attend the walks should wear comfortable shoes and bring along a small snack and water bottle. Reservations are required for both events by calling the center at (573)290-5218 beginning April 1.
For a full schedule of nature programs at the Cape Nature Center go online to mdc.mo.gov/CapeNatureCenter.