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: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - 8:00am to Friday, November 1, 2019 - 8:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Powder Valley Photo Contest
Powder Valley wants to see what our visitors love about discovering nature! This photo contest is for amateur photographers (all ages). It is free and open to all visitors of Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, Emmenegger Nature Park & Possum Woods, and Claire Gempp Davidson Memorial Wildlife Area. Deadline for all entries will be November 1, 2019. Winners will be announced in a Missouri Department of Conservation press release and displayed at Powder Valley in February 2020. For more details and an entry form, please contact Shelly Colatskie at shelly.colatskie@mdc.mo.gov , 314-301-1506 ex 4222 or stop by and pick one up at the front desk.

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 8:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Runge Nature Center has free fishing rods, reels, and tackle to loan. Stop by the front desk anytime during business hours, sign out the equipment, and have fun fishing!

Call 573-526-5544 or email Runge@mdc.mo.gov for details.

Date: Monday, July 1, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Many beautiful quilts will be on display at Runge Nature Center during July and August, crafted by participants of the Nature's Needlers program. Celebrating 22 years of nature quilts!

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 8:00am to Friday, September 13, 2019 - 5:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

No reservations required
Trail Tales features a children’s book along the trail. Read, move, and play as you visit and engage in suggested activities at each stop. Both children and adults will love to play in nature this way!

Date: Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 5:00pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

August Hallway Exhibit
Approximately two dozen members of the Missouri Nature and Environmental Photographers (MoNEP) will be showing their vision of summer during the month of August. MoNEP members are all ages and have different levels of experience. Meetings are held at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center usually on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Join the fun in three ways:
• Come to one of the monthly meetings
• Come to the Powder Valley Nature Photography Workshop (August 10th)
• Attend the multiday photography seminar, hosted by MoNep, featuring renowned nature photographer Jennifer king (September 14 and 15).
• Please visit www.monep.org for more information.

Date: Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 3:00pm to Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 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.

Register by August 19

Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

Registration required (adults)
In this fast-paced world, we go to big box stores to buy everything from medicines to cleansers. Slow down, get back to your roots and imagine if we could create medicinal salves, soaps and tonics from native plants in our own backyard.

Register by August 19

Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Pollinator Party!
August 20 • Tuesday • 10–11:30 a.m.
(Ages 3–6)
Reservations begin July 20
You can bee and feel amazing while learning about our native pollinators! Come and learn how invertebrates such as bees and butterflies pollinate plants. Then see bees, butterflies, and other invertebrates up close and personal as we go searching for these amazing creatures.

Register by August 20

Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 10:30am to 11:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Summer is a great time to go camping! There are lots cool critters you might see when you go camping. You might spot some of these critters during the day, but others are only out at night. Come discover some of the animals that may visit your campsite! Program is free.

Register by August 21

Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Meet at the nature center and drive to Arrow Rock State Park in Saline County. Trail: Moderate, 5 miles.

Register by August 21

Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Young hummingbirds have much to learn about finding food! Fly in to learn more about what hummingbirds like to eat and where they find it.

Register by August 22

Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Young hummingbirds have much to learn about finding food! Fly in to learn more about what hummingbirds like to eat and where they find it.

Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:45am

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Dragonflies are dazzling creatures. Learn about this fun and fascinating insect. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 11:15am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Dragonflies are dazzling creatures. Learn about this fun and fascinating insect. Please no organized groups. Ages 3-6. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

The animals are hungry! Join us and watch as we feed the snakes, aquarium fish, and snapping turtles.

Register by August 23

Date: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

***Meet at the Binder Lake Tackle Shop across from the playground*** There's nothing like the freedom on the water a kayak gives. If you've ever wanted to learn more about paddling a kayak come join us. This program will cover all the basics and get you water-ready!

Register by August 23

Date: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Location: Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Spend an evening with Dr. Benjamin C. Jellen learning about a new snake study in the St. Louis area, including Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center as a study site. Researchers are tracking snakes, including Copperheads, to better understand their overall ecology and population dynamics. Learn how they do this and see some of their findings. Unique to this investigation is an emphasis on working with the public to gain insight into perspectives about native snakes in order to combine snake ecology with public opinions to learn ways to lessen negative associations and risks to both animals and people.

Register by August 24

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 9:00am to 9:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Slide right in to learn about our slithering friends! Snakes don’t have legs, and they don’t even need them! That’s right, they move along on their bellies. Discover more about these fascinating reptiles that live in our area. Program is free.

Register by August 24

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Twin Pines Conservation Education Center

Do you wish you could get away and enjoy a little time as a family? Join the Twin Pines staff as we host our annual Family Fishing Day. Enjoy grilled hot dogs and lemonade. Compete to see who can catch the most or the biggest fish. Let the kids try their hand at making a fish print tee shirt or other craft. Try your luck at our free prize drawing. Or you can just relax in the shade of one of Missouri’s pines. For this event only, no Missouri fishing license is required. For further information, call 573-325-1381.

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Location: Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center

No registration required (all ages)
It’s summer and beneficial bees are buzzing but so are those pesky blood thirsty mosquitos! Everyone knows them, but what do we really know about them? Why do they have a taste for blood and what is their role in Missouri’s food web?

Register by August 24

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 10:30am

Location: Cape Girardeau Nature Center

Slide right in to learn about our slithering friends! Snakes don’t have legs, and they don’t even need them! That’s right, they move along on their bellies. Discover more about these fascinating reptiles that live in our area. Program is free.

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

Location: Runge Conservation Nature Center

Runge offers touch tables, activities, and/or crafts every Saturday from 10am until 2pm throughout the year. Join us to learn about a different nature topic each week!

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:30pm

Location: Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

Walk-in (all ages) Kissing a frog won't turn them into a prince and touching a toad won't give you warts! Frogs and toads are our most common amphibians and are fascinating creatures. Let's learn about all the different species in Missouri, then go out to the pond to see if we can find some.

Register by August 24

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Try your hand at woodcarving with members of the Southern Missouri Woodcarving Artists as they teach carving techniques and show how to transform wood into works of art. Ages 12-adult. Register online at mdc.mo.gov/SouthwestEvents or call 417-888-4237 for more information.

Date: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: Springfield Conservation Nature Center

Visit with members of the Southern Missouri Woodcarving Artists as they share information with the “wood-be” carver, demonstrate carving techniques, and show works in progress. All ages. No registration required. Call 417-888-4237 for more information.

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