St. LOUIS, Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has reopened its public offices and facilities in the St. Louis Region. Facilities were closed temporarily starting last March due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
MDC work teams have put measures in place to protect the health and safety of the public and MDC staff. MDC reminds all visitors to help keep everyone safe by observing all recommended health guidelines, including maintaining at least six feet from other visitors at all times and wearing masks where required.
“Our staff looks forward to being able to welcome visitors back to our offices, the nature center and staffed shooting ranges,” said MDC St. Louis Regional Administrator Julianne Stone. “COVID-19 has been a challenge for all of us and we are very pleased to be open to the public again,” Stone said.
The MDC St. Louis Regional Office in St. Charles and Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood will be open from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. during this first phase of reopening. The education exhibit portions at both sites will remain closed until further notice. The All In Bait & Tackle Shop on the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles is also open.
The two staffed shooting ranges in the St. Louis region have resumed their normal summer hours. Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in High Ridge will open its trap, five stand, patterning board and archery range Wed. 1:00-7:30 p.m. and Thur.-Sun., 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in Defiance will be open Wed. and Fri.-Sun. from 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Thursdays 1:00-7:30 p.m.
Shooting range users should expect some procedural changes in the way the ranges operate. These changes have been enacted to ensure public health.
MDC will adhere to all local ordinances and guidelines regarding COVID-19 at every facility, and it strongly encourages visitors to wear face coverings at its locations. Visitors will be asked to provide contact tracing information should it become necessary to use in the future.
“The health and safety of our visitors and staff are always our top priority,” said Stone. “We want to do everything we can to be responsible and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.” She added that the MDC St. Louis regional leadership staff is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation. “If there are changes in the regional COVID outlook, we are prepared to respond appropriately, including re-closing facilities if needed,” Stone emphasized.
All MDC outdoor facilities, including trails, fishing lakes, non-staffed shooting ranges, and river accesses remain open to the public. MDC encourages users to observe recommended social distancing guidelines when engaging in outdoor activities and visiting MDC facilities.