Cape Girardeau

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Expand your skills beyond leaf identification and discover what other features may be used to identify tree species native to Missouri. Test your skills and learn forestry tidbits in this fun, interactive hike. This hike will take place outside on Ridgetop Trail behind the Nature Center, so please dress accordingly. This program is limited to 20 participants for ages 8 and up.


You have passed Hunter Education so put your skills to the test using a hunting simulator. Participants will be presented with an onscreen hunting scenario and then decide if the shoot is ethical. Participants will use a firearm provided with the program to test them on shot placement. This program is a great learning experience and a lot of fun.

Participants must have Hunter Education student certification. There is no age limit.

Conservation Families

Ridgetop Trail will be lit by colorful luminaries offering a whole new perspective on the trail. The trail is asphalt-paved and approximately .5 mile round trip, it is stroller accessible and power wheelchair accessible. This program is part of our “Nature Center at Night” series; the nature center will be open late from 5:00 to 7:00pm this evening.

After your stroll enjoy a warm fire and some hot chocolate. This experience is really special and great family time. Groups are welcome.

Native Plants

Though winter bloomers may sound like flannel underwear, witch hazel is one of the few plants to bloom in cold weather! Join us to learn about Missouri’s native witch hazel species. You’ll learn about the folklore, natural history, cultivation of this bizarre native shrub. Please ensure that your MDC account includes an accurate email address so that you can receive a link to the virtual program.

Discover Nature

Come join the boardgame club for nature lovers! This monthly program will begin with a short program featuring a different nature-themed board game and how it relates to Missouri’s mission to have world class fish, forests, and wildlife. After the intro…let the games begin! There will be games available for all experience levels, though these games often have a higher complexity level than family board game players may be used to and may be most appropriate for


Hawn State Park in St. Genevieve County is one of Missouri’s most scenic and special state parks. This naturalist-led hike will cover approximately 8 miles of the Whispering Pines Trail. This section of the trail is hilly, crosses several creeks, and due to its length, requires a moderate to high level of fitness. Sturdy shoes, a water bottle, lunch, and a small backpack are all required. If you’re ready for a rugged adventure, this is the trail for you!

Outdoor Skills

Let’s get your bike ready for spring weather! This program will teach you new skills and help you save money by teaching you the basics of bike maintenance and repair. We will get hands on and learn to fix a flat, adjust brakes, and get you shifting more smoothly. No prior experience necessary. Demonstration bikes and tools will be provided. Please wear clothing which you don’t mind getting dirty!

Nature Art

Nature Center Volunteer and local wildlife photographer, Johnathan Wright, will talk about the equipment, skills, and tricks needed to capture nature and wildlife in that perfect image. Following the presentation everyone will have an opportunity to try their hand at shooting some indoor staged scenes as well as candid outdoor nature scenes.

Johnathan and fellow photographers will be available to offer feedback.

Please bring your own digital SLR camera and keep it with you at all times.