Natural Events calendars available at MDC offices in Springfield and Joplin

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wants to remind holiday shoppers that MDC’s 2021 Natural Events Calendar makes an eye-catching gift for their loved ones. In southwest Missouri, these calendars can be purchased at MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center and Southwest Regional Office, both of which reopened to the public earlier in November, and at MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin. The 2021 MDC Natural Events Calendar can also be purchased online at

The perennially popular Natural Events Calendar, which sells for $9 plus tax, measures 10X14 inches folded and 20X14 open. Along with stunning photographs of native animals, plants, and scenic locations around the state; the calendar also includes a number of notes each month about natural events that are occurring at that time of year.

For MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center at 4601 S. Nature Center Way and MDC’s Southwest Regional Office at 2630 N. Mayfair Ave, Natural Events Calendar sales are another sign that life at these MDC sites in Springfield are gradually returning to normal. Both have reopened to the public after being closed since March 23 due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19.

MDC’s Southwest Regional Office reopened on Nov. 9 and the nature center reopened Nov. 12, but both facilities had “soft” openings. Because the Springfield area – like many other parts of the state – is still dealing with COVID-19, a low-key reopening was in the best interest of both MDC staff at the facilities and the public. It’s part of a slow-but-steady strategy aimed at getting all components of the Springfield Nature Center and the Southwest Regional Office up and running again in a healthy fashion.

“Safety is always our main focus," said MDC’s Southwest Regional Education Supervisor Warren Rose. “Whether we are instructing firearms safety classes or reopening a facility during this COVID-19 pandemic, we are implementing several measures to keep the public and our staff safe while trying to connect people to nature. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.”

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center is currently on its winter schedule, which means the nature center building is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. All visitors are required to wear a mask and are encouraged to social distance. The display area is currently roped off – another measure to limit numbers and contact points inside the building. The nature center’s trails are open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. every day. The building and trails will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Since its closure in March, nature center staff have been doing virtual programs on a variety of conservation topics.

“We have missed seeing visitors and many of our regular program participants,” said nature center manager Rudy Martinez. “We continue to offer virtual programs and slowly and safely we’re adding in-person outdoor programs only. Now that the facility is open, we are seeing visitors purchase permits and gift shop items and pick up nature-related brochures. We hope that our routine at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center is slowly, and safely, returning to normal.”

MDC’s Southwest Regional Office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and the phone number is 417-895-6880. The phone number for the Springfield Conservation Nature Center is 417-888-4237.