MDC offers free Park after Dark nature event Oct. 25 in St. Joseph

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St. Joseph, Mo. – Nightfall changes the creatures, sights and sounds people find in nature. Autumn nights can be especially mysterious. So, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will help people connect with nocturnal nature at a free Park after Dark event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, at the Mark Youngdahl Urban Conservation Area in St. Joseph.

All ages are welcome. Visitors, especially children, are invited and encouraged to come in costumes in keeping with the Halloween season. A Trunk or Treat with goodies will kick off the event at 6 p.m. at the area’s east parking lot. The event includes the Teal Pumpkin Project that supports research and education about food allergies. The Wellspring Community Church is a sponsor for Trunk or Treat.

Guided night hikes will begin at 6:30 p.m., and groups will head out on the trail every half hour after the hikes start. The last hike leaves at 8:30 p.m. The hikes are on a paved trail friendly to baby strollers and wheelchairs. Children can explore their creativity at a Halloween craft station.

The Mark Youngdahl Urban Conservation Area provides green space with hiking trails and native plants on a ridge in the heart of St. Joseph. The main entrance is on South 36th Street between Faraon/Jules and Messanie streets.

For more information about Park after Dark, call MDC’s Northwest Regional Office in St. Joseph at 816-271-3100. For more information about the Youngdahl Urban Conservation Area, visit