MDC: Celebrate the holidays with help from the Cape Nature Center

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – As the seasons change and the holidays approach, the Missouri Department of Conservation's Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has incorporated holiday themed events into their program schedule.

"Many natural items accentuate traditional holiday decorations, such as Christmas trees, wreaths and popular centerpieces," said Sara Turner, manager of the nature center. "We like to take that even further with ornaments, cards and gifts that highlight nature and are eco-friendly."

The center's popular Nature Art: Nature's Décor program is scheduled for Dec. 5. Guests will use nature's resources to create winter wreaths, swags and garlands. Programs are offered at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. to give multiple opportunities to attend the program.

Turner said this program fills quickly, so hopeful participants should call the nature center to reserve a seat. Registration for this program is underway.

"We ask our guests to bring their own grapevine wreath, but we provide the natural items to decorate them with," Turner said. "Our staff and volunteers are excellent guides to creativity with these decorative items, so be brave and come see what you can make to hang on your door to ring in the season."

Younger nature enthusiasts, ages seven to eleven, can celebrate the holidays at Snappers: Nature's Gifts. This program will enable youngsters to make a gift by hand with items they can find in their own backyard. This free program is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to 11:30. Turner said this program also tends to fill up quickly, so reservations may be made beginning Dec. 1.

"Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with crafts children can make for family and friends for Christmas, but this program will help with that," Turner said. "And while they're having fun making crafts, the kids are learning about nature, too."

The whole family can get involved in making nature related holiday crafts Saturday, Dec. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Family Craft Fun. Turner said this program is for all ages, it's free and no registration is required.

"This program is designed for the whole family to enjoy together as they continue the holiday spirit, learn about nature and make memories together," Turner said. "We'll have all the supplies needed, we just invite families to come enjoy the season with us."

For a winter nature experience to warm the holiday spirit, join naturalists on Thursday, Dec. 17, for Nature Center at Night: Candlelit Wood Walk. Enjoy the serenity of the winter night along the Nature Center's paved, lit trail. Warm beverages and time to explore the exhibits will wrap up the evening. No registration is necessary for this event.

Turner said registrations may be made for Nature Art: Nature's Décor and Snappers: Nature's Gifts by calling 573-290-5218 beginning Dec. 1.

More information about these and other programs at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center can be found online at To receive event reminders on a cell phone, text nature to 91212.