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Come out and learn how to identify Missouri native trees. We will explore different shapes, sizes, colors and textures of trees and what they have to offer to people and animals. Presentation in the auditorium followed by a walk down the Missouri Tree trail.

Discover Nature - Fishing Lessons 1 & 2

Lesson 1: Equipment, Casting and Proper Fish Handling combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families basic fishing techniques and skills. Participants will learn how to properly and safely cast a spincast fishing rod, parts of a fishing rod, how to fasten basic fishing tackle and how to properly handle and release a fish. Lesson 2: How to Tie a Knot and Bait a Hook combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach young anglers and families intermediate fishing techniques and skills.

Discover Nature - Fishing Lesson 3 & 4

Lesson 3: Five Common Missouri Fish-Their Anatomy, Habitat, and Life Cycle combines instruction with hands-on fishing to teach anglers basic biological concepts and functions specific to largemouth bass, bluegill, hybrid sunfish, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Participants will learn the different components of fish anatomy and their functions. In addition, participants will learn about various types of fish habitat and aquatic food webs.


It is finally springtime, and the birds are out and about finding food plus we are in the heart of spring migration. Join us on a hike to see the birds in action. We will meet at the front door to the nature center. We will then proceed to the trail for a hike to bird. We will keep our eyes out for spring wildflowers as well. Beginners and all experience levels welcome. Dress for the weather & bring your own binoculars, snacks, and drinks. Folks can leave anytime, if they have had enough.

Paddle Sports

Many of us drive over the Missouri River without giving it a second thought. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore Missouri’s most magnificent natural resource in a canoe? It is magic to be on the river! We will explore an 9-mile stretch on the Missouri River from La Benite Park to Cooley Lake. Estimated time on the water is appx. 3 hours.

Please dress for the weather, wear closed-toe shoes and bring water, snacks, and a head lamp or flashlight.

Special Event

MEET AT LITTLE COMPTON LAKE CONSERVATION AREA for an evening of outdoor fun with an overnight camping option. Enjoy archery, fishing, (dinner break), a slide show on dark skies and a tour of the stars with telescopes from the Astronomical Society of Kansas City.

Little Acorns

Missouri bears are always on the lookout for tasty food. Do you think you can fill a plate full of food enough to satisfy a black bear? Join us as we learn about these large mammals and all the different foods they eat!