WINONA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Twin Pines Conservation Education Center will reopen Tuesday, April 2, at 8 a.m., ending the annual winter closure of the facility. Skyler Bockman, manager of Twin Pines, said this means nature programs will resume in April, starting with Heritage Day, Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Heritage Day is an annual free event that features activities, live music, and a fish fry from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. while supplies last.
“This is our largest annual event and we always look forward to it,” Bockman said. “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 hundreds of people each year. Many presenters will be dressed as characters from the past to help illustrate the valuable history of the Ozarks, Bockman said. Activities will include a birding hike, demonstrations of wooden spoons and paddle-making, basket making, trapping, and flint and steel. Bockman said there will be live music by the Short Leaf Pine 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,” Bockman said. “We know how much our community cares about nature and conservation, but we don’t always think about how we got here.”
Bockman said Heritage Day is a family-friendly event with naturalist-led activities. No reservations are needed.
Twin Pines closes for the winter from December through March, to enable the center’s naturalists to conduct school and community programs. Beginning Tuesday, April 2, the center is 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 www.mdc.mo.gov/TwinPines.