MDC’s Powder Valley Nature Center offers three Down and Dirty programs this summer

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KIRKWOOD, Mo. — Soil plays an essential role in our world; it filters water, helps plants grow, and provides habitat for billions of organisms. But the most important thing is that it’s fun to get dirty.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Nature Center presents Down and Dirty—a free event geared to kids ages 3-5 that brings back the fun days of sand boxes and mud pies. In fact, it’s three times the fun because Powder Valley will offer the program three times during the summer: Wednesday, July 19, Friday, Aug. 11, and Thursday, Sept. 7. Each will be held from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Powder Valley in Kirkwood.

Visitors will discover how getting dirty and exploring is a fun way to discover nature in independent sessions tailored for kids and adults.

Children and parents will go to two separate areas during the program. Powder Valley will provide plenty of dirt as MDC naturalists take the kids to the center’s nature play area, where they can use their imaginations to get down and dirty. While the kids are having their own fun, adults get the chance to learn on their own about the importance of unstructured play and nature exploration for the healthy development of young children. Studies also show that interacting with dirt and the various organisms that live in it helps to develop healthy immune systems.

The sessions are free but advanced registration is required by calling Powder Valley at 314-301-1500. Participants should bring old clothes and be prepared to get dirty. Also, a change of clean clothes and towels are recommended for the ride home.

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44. For more information on other upcoming events, go to