MDC Cape Nature Center to present 3D archery, sunfish papier-mache in September

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Discover nature in September with Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center’s free programs!

Are you an archer but you've never shot on a field archery range? Bring your bow and follow a path through the woods shooting 3D targets that simulate a bowhunting scenario at target distances 15-40 yards. Archers can also practice shooting from an elevated platform. This is the perfect event to warm up for bow season or just give field archery a try! Registrants may bring their own bow with field tips. No broadheads or crossbows allowed during this event. Archery equipment and arrows will be available for participants to use during the event.

Are you an experienced artist or are you an artist with little to no experience? Well, come one, come all to this spectacular event featuring our native sunfishes! In this activity, participants will listen to a short program about the different sunfish species in southeast Missouri and create their very own papier-mâché model of one of these spectacular species. Papier-mâché is an activity that allows all skill levels to create something amazing. Let this be your opportunity to start a new hobby or further your artistic skill – nature style!

  • Conservation Families: Gather 'Round Ye Olde Campfire | 7 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 22 at Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center | Registration not required.

Gather ‘round ye olde campfire and let us tell you a story. To welcome the first day of autumn, we’re lighting a campfire and inviting you to join us! Grab your family and gather ‘round as we read aloud nature-themed picture books, present a short program, and sing campfire songs at the nature center firepit. Refreshments will be provided.

  • Historic and Primitive Skills: Come Hunt the Ice Age Bison: Open Atlatl | 2 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center | Registration not required.

The atlatl, also known as a spear thrower, is a tool used around the world since prehistory. Pre-dating the bow and arrow by tens of thousands of years, this tool, in the hands of the Aztecs, could penetrate even Spanish armor! Join us on the front lawn of the nature center to give it a try. You may even need to help us hunt the mighty ice age bison, a long extinct ancestor of the bison today! This program does not require registration. During this open time slot, participants can come and go as they please.

Insects can be found in every Missouri habitat and have important roles that they play in nature. Join us as we go on a “hunt” for these six-legged creatures, study them up-close, and craft our very own insect to take home!

Wild About Water

Join us this year for a guided kayak or canoe experience, stomp through a stream looking for the critters that call creeks home or explore the mysteries of a southeast Missouri swamp. To whet your appetite even more, each program attended will enter you in a chance to win the “Wild About Water” grand prize drawn in December.  We can’t wait to see you all downstream!


Check out details for all of MDC’s free September events online at Don’t forget to register your kiddos and homeschool students for Little Acorns and Babes in the Woods story times! And don’t miss Day on the River set for Sept. 16 in downtown Cape Girardeau!

Advance registration is required for most programs and can be completed online at All family members that plan to attend in-person and virtual events must be registered. First, create 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.

Stay Connected

Questions about events can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Manager Laci Prucinsky at

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.