MDC Twin Pines CEC to celebrate April 1 reopening with annual Heritage Day on April 2

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WINONA, 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, with Heritage Day on April 2, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Heritage Day is a free annual event celebrating 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 it’s gone.

“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.

Activities will include coppering, wooden spoon making, a blacksmith, and a presentation by a flintlock gun maker. There also will be live music.

“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 2. For more information, please call (573) 325-1381.

To ensure the safety of all, in-person programs require family groups to socially distance, and masks are recommended. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include stay home if you’re sick, wash hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer, and be considerate of others.

Twin Pines CEC 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 CEC is located on Highway 60, 1.3 miles east of the intersection of Highway 60 and Highway 19 North. Find the center’s schedule of events here.