MDC’s Cape Nature Center to offer Tree Tapping 101 program, much more in Jan.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host its featured program for January, “Tree Tapping 101,” alongside a full schedule of other free nature programs.

  • Virtual Tree Tapping 101 classes are set for Jan. 13, from 10 – 10:30 a.m.; Jan. 23, from 10 – 10:45 a.m.
  • In-person Tree Tapping 101 classes will be Jan. 20, from 10 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 2 p.m.; Jan. 21, from 10 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 2 p.m.; and Jan. 23, from 2 – 3 p.m.

Morning classes offered on Jan. 13, Jan. 20, and Jan. 21 are designed specifically for homeschool or family groups. Advanced registration is encouraged for all programs and can be completed online at

’Tis the season for maple sugaring! But before you can enjoy that sweet maple syrup, you’ve got to collect the sap. Listen as the folks at MDC teach you how to identify sugar maple trees, select the right ones to tap, and tap a tree during MDC’s free Tree Tapping 101 program.

“Maple syrup is one of the many gifts that Missouri forests can provide,” said MDC Naturalist Angela Pierce. “Tree tapping is a great way to get out and discover an entirely new side of nature during some of the colder months. It’s a great opportunity for the whole family to come together and take part in a fun project.”

This event covers only the tree tapping portion, so be sure to check out our February programming to learn the rest of the syrup story! Virtual Tree Tapping 101 is designed for ages 8 – 15, but younger children are also welcome to attend.

To ensure the safety of all, in-person programs require family groups to practice social distancing, and masks are required. Those interested are also reminded to follow current health recommendations which include:

  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Have hand sanitizer/soap and water.
  • Be considerate of others.

Questions about this event can be emailed to MDC Cape Nature Center Naturalist Angela Pierce at

The Cape Nature Center building is currently closed to visitors amid rising COVID-19 concerns. The closures come after the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) classified Cape Girardeau under the “Extreme Risk” category due to the region’s COVID-19 positivity rate and case rate. The latest county-level positivity rates can be found at

However, the nature center’s trails, and other outdoor areas will remain open. Outdoor and virtual programs (such as the ones listed above) will continue as planned. Participants of in-person, outdoor events will be required to wear face masks and social distance.

For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online at

Other free January programs include:

The first step in registering for a program is creating a profile at Once a profile is created and event registration is complete, additional details about programs will be sent via email. If you’re having difficulty registering online, you may contact the phone registration vendor at 1-888-283-0364. Event call center hours are Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. This phone number is for event registration only.

Information about age-specific monthly programs can be found online at

And as a reminder: MDC’s 2021 Natural Events Calendars are on sale at a 50% discount and are available by calling the Cape Girardeau Nature Center, paying over-the-phone, and arranging for contactless pick-up. For more information, call Cape Girardeau Nature Center at (573) 290-5218.

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.