MDC to reopen Cape Nature Center, Southeast Regional Office to public in March

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will reopen its Southeast Regional Office in Cape Girardeau on March 1 and Cape Girardeau Nature Center on March 2 following extensive analysis of local COVID-19 positivity rates, hospitalization rates, and vaccination data.

The campus was closed Dec. 21, 2020, due to rising COVID-19 concerns. The latest county-level positivity rates can be found at

The Southeast Regional Office will be open to the public and will resume its regular business hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning March 1. Staff will be available by phone at (573) 290-5730 or in-person to assist the public with MDC-related requests. Those requesting assistance in-person are required to wear face masks and social distance.

The Cape Nature Center will reopen to the public starting March 2 and will resume its regular operating hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The nature center’s trails and other outdoor areas will remain open. Outdoor and virtual programs will continue as planned. Participants of in-person, outdoor and indoor events will be required to wear face masks and social distance. For more information, call Cape Girardeau Nature Center at (573) 290-5218.

“Conservation is an important part of our lives. We all need places to enjoy nature for both our physical and mental health,” said MDC Regional Administrator Tony Jaco. “Our trails and grounds remained open throughout the pandemic and soon our buildings will be open once again for programs and public service. Though we have always been available by phone and email, we are pleased to once again be able to serve the residents of southeast Missouri via in-person services. We are very happy to welcome everyone back to our facilities.” 

Jaco said COVID-19 protocols are in place and “we will continue to follow the Cape Girardeau County mask mandate, as well as any other state and local recommendations on occupancy restrictions or mitigation practices.” 

MDC regional teams are currently assessing the temporary closure of regional offices, nature centers, and public contact offices around the state. For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online at

Southeast Regional Office is located at 2302 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau.

Cape Girardeau Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.