MDC: Twin Pines CEC reopens April 3, hosts annual Heritage Day April 14

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WINONA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Twin Pines Conservation Education Center will reopen Tuesday, April 3, 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 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Heritage Day is an annual free event that features forest management demonstrations and workshops, pond fishing, archery, 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. Demonstrations will include bee keeping, bowin’ and spikin’, wingbone turkey calls, plant identification hikes, Sassafras paddle making, handmade fishing lures, Jon boat making and mandolin making. Bockman said guests will enjoy 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 November through March, to enable the center’s naturalists to conduct school and community programs. Beginning Tuesday, April 3, 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, or