Special events highlight Springfield Nature Center’s 25th anniversary

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – This weekend, the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Springfield Conservation Nature Center is celebrating a quarter-century of serving nature and the public.

Since the Nature Center opened its doors to the public on Oct. 7, 1988, nearly 2.4 million people have visited the building and nearly double that number have enjoyed the facility’s trails. More than 800,000 people have learned about conservation directly by participating in the hundreds of programs offered annually.

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday at the Nature Center, enjoy a dessert social. This will be highlighted by a special presentation at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the Nature Center will celebrate its anniversary with a number of special programs and exhibits. One of the highlights of Saturday will be performances at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. by the the Fishin’ Magicians. Steve Craig and Amy Short have entertained crowds throughout the country with their outdoor-themed magic show.

Also on Saturday, staff and docents from Dickerson Park Zoo will discuss the important ecosystem roles of raptors in the “Birds of Prey” programs at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. These programs in the Nature Center auditorium will feature live birds of prey from the Dickerson Park Zoo’s collection.

One of several highlights of Sunday’s events will be primitive skills demonstrations from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. See demonstrations of flint knapping, bow and arrow construction, fire-making and making cordage out of plant fibers from some of the area’s specialists in these fields. A Dutch oven cooking demonstration at 1 p.m. and Native American storytelling programs at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. will also be taking place Sunday.

Call the Nature Center at 417-888-4237 for details about these events and others. The Springfield Conservation Nature Center is located in southeast Springfield at 4601 S. Nature Center Way.