MDC Twin Pines CEC to celebrate April 1 reopening with annual Heritage Day on April 17

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Twin Pines Conservation Education Center (CEC) reopens April 1 at 8 a.m. following a four-month seasonal closure -- and its staff are celebrating with Heritage Day on April 17, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Heritage Day is a free annual celebration accenting the history of the Ozarks with food, live music, naturalist-led activities, demonstrations, and workshops, along with a free fish fry. Admission is free, and registration is not required. Fish will be served 11 a.m. until sold out.

“It’s our largest annual event and we always look forward to it,” said Twin Pines CEC manager Reva Dow. “Even our name, Twin Pines, reflects the forest history of our region and we enjoy the opportunity to share that heritage with our neighbors in these fun activities.”

The event attracts several hundreds of people each year, according to Dow. Presenters will be dressed as characters from the past to help illustrate the valuable history of the Ozarks, she said, and activities will include a birding hike, demonstrations, paddle making, basket making, and trapping. There also will be live music by the Winona High School Band.

“This event gives us an opportunity to consider how far we’ve come over the years as a community and what a vital role nature and conservation has played over that time,” Dow said. “We know how much our community cares about nature and conservation, but we don’t always think about how we got here.”

Offsite parking and shuttle service will be available April 17. For more information, please call (573) 325-1381. COVID-19 precautions will also be followed including social distancing and masks.

Twin Pines closes for the winter from December through March, to enable the center’s naturalists to conduct school and community programs. Beginning April 1, the center will be open for visitors and programs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Twin Pines is located on Highway 60, 1.3 miles east of the intersection of Highway 60 and Highway 19 North. To view the center’s schedule of events, go online to