MDC hosts Family Outdoors Day at Reed Area

News from the region
Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – A sunny day with fishing and other outdoor sports on tap drew about 600 people to Family Outdoors Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area in Lee’s Summit. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Ducks Unlimited (DU), and Nathan’s Catch were primary sponsors for the free event that celebrated National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Many of the attendees were parents and grandparents bringing children and grandchildren for some hand’s-on help from MDC staff and volunteers with target archery, throwing the atlatl, target shooting with pellet guns, and visiting exhibits.  Conservation agents taught trap shooting skills, as MDC provided shotguns and shells.

Russ and Lynn Giron of Lee’s Summit gave away 154 fishing poles and tackle boxes to youngsters. The Giron’s started the non-profit Nathan’s Catch in memory of their son, Nathan Giron, who was killed in an automobile accident in 2015. Nathan loved the outdoors, and to honor him the Girons want to help families connect with the outdoors.

MDC already had numerous fishing poles rigged and ready for visitors, plus worms for bait, and attendees were able to take the loaners to the banks of Nell Lake and give angling a try. Volunteers and MDC staff helped newcomers to fishing learn how to cast, reel in fish, and take them off the hook. Bluegill were biting, so many people caught fish.

DU gave 128 free Greenwing memberships to youngsters attending Family Outdoors Day. Members also operated a duck wing maze near a wetland at the Reed Area. Visitors were taught species identification features such as colors on wing parts. With some help from DU members and MDC staff, they followed those keys from sign to sign in the maze. A portable hunting blind was on display along with duck and geese decoys.

MDC also has other family-friendly events scheduled during October in the Kansas City area.

The Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs will host “What Was I Scared of?” 3:30 to 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. MDC staff and volunteers will bring the characters of Dr. Seuss to life along a tour trail to explain the wonders and benefits of creatures in the wild, such as snakes and spiders. Advance registration is required for the free event. For information or to register, call 816-228-3766.

“HOWLoween IV” will be celebrated 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20, at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., in Kansas City. Displays, crafts, and fun will explore nature with themes such as Track or Treat, The Bone Yard, The Bat Cave, and more. The free event suitable for all ages is on a walk-in basis, with many of the activities set outdoors in the native plant garden. For information, call 816-759-7300.

To learn more about MDC outdoor programs, visit