Nature Centers

Missouri's nature and interpretive centers help you and your family connect with nature in a variety of ways.

  • Take a walk on an interpretive trail or nature trail.
  • Learn about wildlife through live exhibits.
  • Attend workshops or classes on a multitude of topics, including outdoor skills.

Nature Center Events

Date: Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 3:00pm to Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 3:30pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (all ages) Discover what’s for dinner at Burr Oak Woods as the captive amphibians, fish and turtles enjoy their feast every Wednesday and Saturday.

Date: Friday, November 9, 2018 - 3:00pm to Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 3:30pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (all ages) Discover what’s for dinner at Burr Oak Woods as the captive snakes enjoy their feast every other week.

Register by November 20

Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 0-2 years).
Black bear, black bear what do you see? I see children looking back at me. Lumber in with your favorite teddy bear and learn about the Missouri black bear.

Register by November 20

Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Reservations begin November 6.
Pressing flowers and leaves is a great way to preserve the beauty of summer and fall. Create greeting cards and an ornament for the holidays using some Missouri plants. We will also learn more about how you can grow them at your own homes.

Register by November 20

Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Camouflage is used in nature by animals in predator/prey relationships. Learn all about how wildlife uses camouflage and mimicry to help animals survive in nature. Please, no younger siblings and only one adult per group of kids. Ages 7-12.

Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (adults) Join award-winning wildlife photographer Matt Miles for a presentation of "Behind the Lens." Matt has backpacked, floated, snorkeled and explored virtually every county in Missouri to photograph wildlife and wild lands for more than 20 years. Matt will describe many of the rare and dramatic moments he has captured with his camera - images that are now featured in his new photo book: MISSOURI, WILD and WONDERFUL. His entertaining presentation also includes fascinating facts about our natural world. An opportunity to purchase signed copies of MISSOURI, WILD and WONDERFUL will follow the presentation.

Register by November 21

Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 18+).
Meet at the nature center and drive to Hart Creek Conservation Area, in Boone County. Some transportation is provided, but carpooling may be necessary. Bring lunch, water, insect repellent, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and dress for the weather. Trail Length: 4 miles. Terrain: Moderate with hills and/or rocks.

Register by November 20

Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required on-line (babes under 36 months) Fall can be a great time to explore the forest. Bring your little one to a fun scavenger hike in the colorful fall forest of Burr Oak Woods. A portion of the program will be outside, dress for the weather. Registration required for youngster only.

Date: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Black bears are one of our most fascinating large mammals here in Missouri and they are making a comeback! Come in to learn more about the intelligent and charismatic Ursus americanus. Let’s tell stories, enjoy activities, and create
crafts in celebration of Black BEAR Friday!

Date: Friday, November 23, 2018 - 1:30pm to 2:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

No registration required.
The animals are hungry! Join us and watch as we feed the snakes, aquarium fish, and snapping turtles.

Register by November 21

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Make holiday treasures for your family or one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for the holidays from the abundance of natural objects this season has to offer. The Twin Pines staff will show you how to use items such as twigs, pine needles, acorns, buckeyes and seed pods to create wreath, reindeer and miniature tree ornaments. Designed for ages 12 and up, this program has a class limit of 20. Reservations are required. For further information, call 573-325-1381. Reservations can be made on line at www.mdc.mo.gov\twinpines or by calling 888-283-0364.

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Walk-in (ages 2+) Join us for story hour as we lead you on fantastic nature adventures! We will meet birds, mammals and all sorts of magnificent creatures! We will cross rivers, discover mysteries within the forest and fly across the prairies. Our imaginations are the only limits.

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Stop by to see members of the Ozark Whittlers and Woodcarvers transform wood into treasures. All ages. No registration required.

Register by November 21

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Make holiday treasures for your family or one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for the holidays from the abundance of natural objects this season has to offer. The Twin Pines staff will show you how to use items such as twigs, pine needles, acorns, buckeyes and seed pods to create wreath, reindeer and miniature tree ornaments. Designed for ages 12 and up, this program has a class limit of 20. Reservations are required. For further information, call 573-325-1381. Reservations can be made on line at www.mdc.mo.gov\twinpines or by calling 888-283-0364.

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (all ages) One of Missouri’s largest birds, the wild turkey, is fun to watch and popular with hunters. They are common here now, but at one time there were very few turkeys in the state. Join us as we take flight with this colorful, magnificent bird. We will also uncover some turkey myths along the way.

Register by November 27

Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:00am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

(Ages 6-16)
Badgers digging in the prairies, otters playing in the rivers, minks hunting in the lowlands –what do they have in common with each other? Learn how these interesting predators in the weasel family have different adaptations that help them live in such different parts of the habitat.

Register by November 27

Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Seeing deer in urban areas used to be unusual but now it can be an everyday occurrence. Healthy deer populations require management and that means finding balance. Urban Wildlife Biologist Ashley Schnake shares the latest data and strategies for keeping deer populations healthy within the city of Springfield. Those strategies include the Springfield bowhunting ordinance and managed archery hunts administered by the Conservation Department and City Utilities properties on December 8-10. Ages 10-adult.

Register by November 28

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 8:00am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Reservations begin November 14.
Come see the topic we are exploring this month. Families, meet in the nature center lobby for a “nature” adventure. Everyone will hike with the naturalist to a special place in the forest and enjoy a nature story under the tree canopy. Siblings are welcome. Please dress for the weather; however, this program will be canceled due to inclement weather.

Register by November 28

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (ages 8+ years, 8-11 accompanied by an adult, 12+ years, without an adult, will need to complete a permission form. Accompanying adults must also register). Let’s Explore! Check out the forest and all of its layers with us at Pine Ridge Recreation Area in Mark Twain National Forest. We will meet at Runge and carpool there. Bring a snack, water, insect repellent, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and dress for the weather.

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Raccoons are clever nighttime animals. Bring your favorite Big Person and learn more about these critters. Please, no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required.

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Raccoons are clever nighttime animals. Bring your favorite Big Person and learn more about these critters. Please, no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required.

Date: Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

We are looking for a few enthusiastic, nature-oriented volunteers (18 and older) to patrol trails, answer questions, staff the reception desk, help with gift shop sales, present conservation education programs, and assist with special projects. Volunteer positions require an average commitment of 10 hours a month. If you are interested, plan on attending this information meeting to learn more. Ages 18-adult. No registration required. For questions call Amy Juhala at 417-888-4237 or email sprfdNatureCenter@mdc.mo.gov.

Register by November 30

Date: Friday, November 30, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:00am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Nature’s Nook Book Club
Nov 30 • Friday • 9:30–11 a.m.
(Adults)
Reservations begin October 30.
This month we will be discussing Merlin Tuttle’s Book The Secret Lives of BATS. This book tells Tuttle’s adventures with the world’s most misunderstood mammal.

Register by November 30

Date: Friday, November 30, 2018 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Join us for an evening with Noppadol Paothong, photographer for the Missouri
Department of Conservation. Nop’s amazing photography has been featured in the
Conservationist and Xplor Magazines, and many others including National Audubon,
Ranger Rick, BBC, and the Nature Conservancy. He’ll be talking about his experiences
photographing monarchs, sharing photos and technical information, and speaking
to the importance of all pollinators. He’ll also talk about the development of habitat
to benefit pollinators, much of what you can do even in your backyard.
Monarchs are a well-known and loved creature in the pollinator world. Few animals
inspire as much devotion and study as the monarch butterfly. Its 3,000 mile migration
from Canada to Mexico and back to the Gulf Coast states in the spring has served as a
symbol of beauty and mystery. Now, National Geographic says monarch populations
are declining at an alarming rate, due to illegal logging in Mexico, wildfires, drought,
and a drastic loss of their crucial milkweed habitat in the United States.

Register by December 1

Date: Saturday, December 1, 2018 - 8:30am to 1:30pm

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Nestled in the hills near Hawn State Park and Pickle Springs Natural Area lies Hickory Canyons, a small but significant natural area. We’ll hike the two short trails to see beautiful stone outcroppings, moss, and ferns. Hike is ~2 miles and rated moderate. Children ages 14-17, accompanied by a registered adult, are welcome.

Notes:
If riding with us, please select that event.
If driving on own, please select that event. Parking may be limited.
Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes.
Bring water, a snack, and any comfort items
Will be cancelled if poor weather.

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