MDC offers free summer nature programs in St. Joseph

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St. Joseph, Mo. – Nature expresses fully in summer. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a series of free programs to help people learn about the wild things moving about in the June sunshine and moonlight.

“This summer series gets everyone out of the house and outdoors,” said Shelby Smith, MDC naturalist. “These programs will allow you to better understand the animals around you and allow you to meet some in person, including birds of prey and snakes.”

  • Seats remain available to learn fishing basics and to practice fishing at from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, at the Krug Park Lagoon in St. Joseph. MDC will provide fishing equipment and bait. To register, visit
  • Learn about the insects that call northwest Missouri home and play Bugso! Bugs Bingo from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, at the MDC Regional Office in St. Joseph. This program is offered in partnership with the Rolling Hills Public Library. To register, visit
  • Snakes are fun when you learn their varied types and habits, including how they benefit people by eating rodents and insects. Learn about snakes from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, at MDC’s Northwest Regional Office. To register, visit
  • June is a time when bullfrogs are croaking and leaping. But they are just one of many Missouri amphibians. Learn about them all from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, at the Krug Park Castle in St. Joseph. Smith will have some live examples to display. To register, visit
  • MDC will offer Discover Nature — Fishing classes from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, June 28-29, at the Ronald and Maude Hartell Conservation Area east of Plattsburg. Lessons 1 and 2 will be taught the first day, and lessons 3 and 4 on the second day. These classes teach both basic and advanced fishing techniques. MDC provides gear and bait. Fishing permits are not required during the lessons. Participants will try their fishing skills at the ponds at the conservation area.

To register for Discover Nature — Fishing or other MDC programs in northwest Missouri, visit The registration pages will also provide more information about the programs.